Senior Fellow Bios

Alston, Patrick "Pat" - CSM, USA (Ret)

Command Sergeant Major Patrick Z. Alston is employed as a Senior Fellow for the National Defense University’s Keystone program.

CSM Pat Alston is a native of Columbus, Georgia. He is a graduate of Columbus High School. After graduation, he subsequently enlisted into the United States Army where he completed Basic Training at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

His initial assignment was at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, as a Medical Specialist. Subsequent assignments include Medical Specialist with 3rd Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment, and 82nd Airborne Division. In 1984 he reclassified to the Chemical Corps and was assigned as a squad leader with 4th Chemical Company, 2nd Infantry Division; NBC NCO and Squad Leader with Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 73rd Armor, 82nd Airborne Division; Battalion NBC NCO with 3rd Battalion, 73rd Armor, 82nd Airborne Division; Senior NBC Operations and Staff NCO with Division Chemical, 82nd Airborne Division; NBC Operations, Staff NCO and Platoon Sergeant with 34th Support Group, Korea; Senior Drill Sergeant with Alpha Company, 82nd Chemical Battalion; Detachment Sergeant for the Contingency Support Detachment (WHITE HOUSE TEAM), 84th Chemical Battalion, U.S. Army Chemical School; Career Advisor/Branch Manager Career Management Field 74D, Total Army Personnel Command (PERSCOM); First Sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Soldier Biological Chemical Command and Technical Escort Unit; Battalion CSM of the U.S. Army Technical Escort Battalion in Edgewood, Maryland; Division Chemical Sergeant Major for the 2nd Infantry Division, Korea; Battalion CSM of the 23rd Chemical Battalion, 19th TSC, Korea; CSM of the 23rd Area Support Group, 19th TSC, Korea; 10th Regimental CSM of the Chemical Corps, Command Senior Enlisted Leader, Defense Threat Reduction Agency/STRATCOM Center for Combating WMD and finished his Army career as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader of United States Strategic Command. CSM Alston retired in May of 2016 starting work as the Keystone Senior Enlisted Senior Fellow.

His military schools include Command Sergeant Major Course; Sergeant Major Academy (class # 51); First Sergeant Course (CDMT List); Advanced Noncommissioned Officers Course (Honor Grad); Basic Noncommissioned Officers Course (CDMT List); Primary Leadership development Course (CMDT List); Drill Sergeant School (Honor Grad); Airborne School; Air Assault School (Honor Grad); Technical Escort Course (J5) (Honor Grad); Drill Corporal Course; Customs Course; White House Executive Support Course; Executive Operations Course; Hazardous Material Course (Level 1-5); Chemical Weapons Orientation Course Joint Military Intelligence Course on Chemical Affairs; Assignment Manager/PDNCO Course; Administrative Procedures Course (DA Level), Joint Forces Staff College, United States Army Force Management Course and Keystone Course. He is currently a few classes away from receiving his Bachelors of Science Degree in Leadership with a concentration in Management from Trident University. 

His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit (second oak leaf cluster); Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal (first oak leaf cluster); Army Commendation Medal (third oak leaf cluster); the Army Achievement Medal (silver oak leaf cluster); Army Service Ribbons; the National Defense Medal; Combat Medical Badge; Space Badge; Airborne Badge; Air Assault Badge; Drivers Badge; Drill Sergeant Badge; Good Conduct Medal (Silver Clasp, third loop); Overseas Ribbon (Third Oak Leaf Cluster); Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; and the noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon (fourth award). CSM Alston is also awarded the CHEMICAL CORPS HIGHEST AWARD “THE ORDER OF THE DRAGON” as well the TRANSPORTATION CORPS “HONORABLE ORDER OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER.”