CSM Fortenberry initially joined the Army in July of 1990 and attended Infantry One Station Unit Training (OSUT) at Fort Benning, Georgia. Upon graduation he was assigned to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, serving in the 25th Infantry Division with the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Battalion. Followed by a break in service from 1993 to 1998. During his 24-year career, CSM Fortenberry served as a Brigade Command Sergeant Major, Battalion Command Sergeant Major, Battalion Operations Sergeant Major, Operations Sergeant, First Sergeant, Platoon Sergeant, Drill Sergeant, U.S Army Sniper Instructor, Rifle Squad Leader, Team Leader, 4.2 inch Mortar Team Member, M249 SAW Gunner, Grenadier and Rifleman. He has served with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York; 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment (SBCT), Joint Base Lewis McCord, Washington; 173rd Special Troops Battalion (Airborne) in Bamberg Germany; E Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, Fort Benning, Georgia; A Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; A Company, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; B Company, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, Fort Benning, Georgia; United States Army Sniper School, Fort Benning, Georgia; and B Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Battalion, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. CSM Fortenberry has deployed four times to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve. Most recently to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. CSM Fortenberry is currently assigned as the United States Army Infantry School (USAIS) Command Sergeant Major.
CSM Fortenberry's military and civilian education includes all levels of the Noncommissioned Officer Education System culminating with his graduation from the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy Class 63, FORSCOM Center for Creative Leadership Course, Ranger School Class 07-16, NCO Battle Staff Course, Drill Sergeant School, U.S. Army Sniper School, Basic Infantry Mortar Course, Airborne Course, Air Assault Course, Instructor Training Course, Combatives Level 2 and Combat Life Saver. He has earned a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts from Excelsior College and is currently working to complete his Master's Degree in Criminal Justice from Excelsior College in Albany, New York.
CSM Fortenberry's awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star (4 OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (3 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (3 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (1 SOLC, 1 OLC), Meritorious Unit Citation (2 OLC), Army Good Conduct Medal (8th Award), National Defense Service Medal (2 Bronze Stars), Iraqi Campaign Medal (4 Bronze Stars), Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Operation Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 5), Overseas Ribbon (Numeral 5), NATO Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Ranger Tab, Drill Sergeant Badge, Basic Parachutist Badge and Air Assault Badge. His foreign awards include the German Basic Parachutist Badge and the Gold German Marksmanship Badge (Shoutsensneer). CSM Fortenberry also holds the Military Order of Saint Maurice (Primicerius), Honorable Order of Saint Barbara and the Noble Patron of the Armor.