Command Sergeant Major Blackwood enlisted in the United States Army delayed entry program on March 14, 1978 and reported for active duty on Sept. 15, 1978. He received his Basic and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Knox, Ky and graduated as an Armor Crewman on the U.S. Army M60A1 Main Battle Tank.
During his 34 years of service Command Sgt. Maj. Blackwood has served in numerous leadership positions. His assignments include duty as a Tank Driver and Loader: 2nd Battalion, 77th Armor, Fort Lewis Wash. – Gunner and Tank Commander: 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, 1st Armored Division – Tank Commander: 4th Battalion (Airborne), 68th Armor, Fort Bragg N.C. - Battalion Master Gunner, and Platoon Sergeant: 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 73rd Armor, Fort Bragg N.C. – TAC NCO: United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point N.Y. – First Sergeant: Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 5th Squadron, 17th Cavalry, Korea – First Sergeant: 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 73rd Armor, Fort Bragg N.C. – First Sergeant: 1st Battalion, 35th Armor, 1st Armored Division, Germany – G-3 Director of Operations Sergeant Major: Headquarters, 18th Airborne Corps (Airborne), Fort Bragg N.C. – Command Sergeant Major: 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry, Fort Drum N.Y. – Regimental Command Sergeant Major: 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Polk, La. – Division Command Sergeant Major: 1st Armored Division, Germany – Corps Command Sergeant Major: V Corps, Germany – In November 2010 Command Sgt. Maj. Blackwood assumed duties as the Army Cyber/2nd Army Command Sergeant Major, Fort Belvoir Virginia.
Command Sgt. Maj. Blackwood is a graduate of the University of the State of New York and holds an Associate of Arts Degree. His military education includes Basic Airborne, Jumpmaster, Air Assault, Jungle Warfare Course, Master Gunner Course, Battle Staff and First Sergeant Course, the Primary, Basic, and Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Courses, The Command Sergeant Major Force Management Course, the National Defense University Joint Forces Staff College Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education Course, the KEYSTONE Command Senior Enlisted Leader Course in Joint and Combined Studies, and the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy, Class 49.
Command Sgt. Maj. Blackwood's awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal with "V" Device and three oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal with silver oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal with "V" Device and three oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with silver and bronze oak leaf cluster, Good Conduct Medal (10 awards), National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, NATO Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (2 Campaign Stars), Iraq Campaign Medal (4 Campaign Stars), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait Liberation Medals, Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Combat Action Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Wheel and Track Drivers Badge, and the Canadian, French, and German Parachutist Badges.