Command Sergeant Major Patrick “Gene” Cunningham was born and raised in Missouri. He joined the Missouri Army National Guard on 21 March 1997 as a Split-Option Soldier, attending Basic Combat Training the summer between his Junior and Senior years of high school at Ft. McClellan, AL. He returned to Ft. McClellan after graduating high school for Military Police (31B) Advanced Individual Training.
CSM Cunningham transferred to the District of Columbia National Guard on 21 September 2020.
CSM Cunningham’s previous leadership positions include Team Leader, Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, First Sergeant, Personal Protection Detail NCOIC, Missouri State Joint Operations Center NCOIC, and BN Command Sergeant Major. His current assignment is as the Land Component Command Sergeant Major for the District of Columbia Army National Guard.
His civilian education includes a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice from Southeast Missouri State University, and a Masters in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia College. His military education includes Primary Leadership Development Course, Air Assault, Basic Non-Commissioned Officers Course, Advanced Non-Commissioned Officers Course, Police Transition Team Leaders Course, First Sergeant School, Combatives Level 1, Master Fitness Trainer (PH 1), Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education Course, and the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy.
Mobilizations and deployments include Operation Enduring Freedom, Camp Bondsteel Kosovo – 2003-2004; Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, Patrol Base Kaufman, Samarra, Iraq – 2008-2009; Operation Enduring Freedom, Camp Dubs, Kabul, Afghanistan – 2010-2011; Operation Enduring Freedom, Camp As Sayliyah, Doha, Qatar – 2011-2012.
CSM Cunningham’s significant awards include Bronze Star Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with 1 Silver Oak Leaf Cluster and 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Army Achievement Medal. CSM Cunningham was the 2001 Missouri National Guard Soldier of the Year.
CSM Cunningham has resided in Northern Virginia since 2012. He is a Project Manager for Tiber Creek Consulting, Inc. in Fairfax, VA, and is a High School boys basketball coach at Oakton High School.