Clifford Ray Brown, Sr. Profile Photo
1936 Clifford Ray Brown, Sr. 2024

Clifford Ray Brown, Sr.

January 20, 1936 — March 3, 2024

CSM Clifford R. Brown, Sr., age 88, passed away on Sunday, March 3, 2024, at his home, Roscrea, in Darlington, Maryland.  Born in Fallston, Maryland, January 20, 1936, raised in Ashe County, North Carolina, he was the son of Arley Vince Brown and Nina Caldwell Brown. 
Mr. Brown is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Fern Smith-Brown, 2 loving sons Kenneth Gary {Susan} and Scott Eric {Nancy}.  His eldest son, Clifford Ray Brown, Jr. preceded him in death.  
He is also survived, by his beloved grandchildren, Jessica Catron (Clark), Clifford R. Brown III, Scott Brown (Rachela), Tim Brown, Rachel Scarborough (Nick), Samantha Brown, Kevin Brown, Nicholas Brown (Megan) and seven adored great -grandchildren, Logan, Landon, and Dylan Catron, Elliott, Harlow and Delilah Scarborough and Rose Brown.
Mr. Brown’s devoted brothers James Alden {Clara}, Robert A Brown and Dr. William J. Brown preceded him in death. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.  
CSM Brown entered the military in 1953.  His son, Kenneth and grandson, Nick also serviced in the Army following in the CSM’s footsteps.  During his service, his grandson Nick, presented his grandfather with a flag that had flown over Kandahar, Afghanistan.
CSM Brown entered the Army on January 20th, 1953, the same day Dwight D. Eisenhower took the oath of office and became President of the United States, thus beginning his career at the same time.  When President Eisenhower died, CSM Brown was on post duty at Fort Lee, Virginia.  The Quartermaster Museum was charged with maintaining President Eisenhower’s uniform to be used at his passing. The museum was under renovation at the time of the President’s death.  The uniform was collected, but the military tie was missing. Sgt. Major had the honor and distinction of providing a tie from his original uniform for this esteemed president, in which, to be buried.
CSM Brown was also the subject of the song Soldier Boy, made popular by the singing group The Shirelles.  The words to Soldier Boy were written by Fern Smith-Brown, SGT Major’s wife in the early years of their marriage and set to music by a team from the Tin Pan Alley Music Strip in NYC.
CSM Brown’s career spanned 21 years with service in Thule, Greenland, Korea, Germany & Vietnam.  
After Germany, he served with the Army Intelligence Corp for specialized procurement for worldwide embassies.
In 1967, he was sent to Vietnam serving as Division Squad Chief for the 25th Infantry Division, responsible for supplying 20,000 soldiers with everything from ammunition to rations.
Upon return from Vietnam, he served as Chief Instructor at the Quartermaster School in Fort Lee, Virginia.  Several months later the Pentagon scheduled 12 Senior NCO’s and 12 officers that had completed law school but had not practiced.  They were sent back to Vietnam.
Upon completion of this assignment, he finally went to Aberdeen Proving Ground at the Ordinance School.  His plan was to stay there until time to retire.  However, after a few months, the CSM informed his wife he had been selected from a secondary list to be promoted to E9 SGT Major.  This made his job at Aberdeen non-existent.  The Pentagon called and asked him to come for an interview to be Coordinator of the NCOLP Program on a world-wide basis and to be a part of the Army Staff, which, other than Sergeant Major of the Army, there had never been an NCO at the Department of the Army.  This was quite an honor.
While he had hoped to retire, this opportunity was not to be ignored.  He and his wife went to The Pentagon for the interview, and he was selected for the job that was 80 miles from home, family and business.  He remained there for two years, and requested permission to be assigned to APG when he was told that he had been selected for Command Sergeant Major, which had a lot of privileges, benefits to include having family travel with you to duty stations.  His orders were to be assigned to Hawaii to a Major Command, the United States Army Pacific Command.
In 1974 he retired from his military career. In his retirement, he was an esteemed businessman in the local community, in which, he owned and operated a successful business for over fifty years.  He was an avid sports fan who rooted for his hometown team of the Baltimore Orioles. He also enjoyed the Baltimore Ravens and rarely missed a game.

Donations in his name may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project.


To send flowers to the family in memory of Clifford Ray Brown, Sr., please visit our flower store.

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Friday, March 8, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Friday, March 8, 2024

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Friday, March 8, 2024

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