CSM Kelly entered the Army as an Enlisted Soldier three days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, when he was not yet of voting age.
In 1944, PFC Kelly served with the Third Army’s 5th Infantry Division in the move across Europe and was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star Medal, and a Silver Star for gallantry in action. In the postwar era, he became a logistics noncommissioned officer and continued to serve with distinction at home and abroad. He was ultimately promoted to Command Sergeant Major. Thereafter, he served as G-1 Sergeant Major for the 3rd Infantry Division in Germany during the height of the Cold War and while the division underwent a ROAD reorganization; as Command Sergeant Major for the 54th General Support Group in Vietnam (1969-70) which included nearly 2,700 personnel; as Command Sergeant Major of the Germersheim Army Depot and Military Community (Germany); and finally as Command Sergeant Major of the 2nd Battalion, Quartermaster School Brigade, Fort Lee, VA.
During his 35-year career, Command Sergeant Major Kelly displayed all qualities that mark a dedicated, effective and professional, Quartermaster Noncommissioned Officer.