188th Wing hosts first senior noncommissioned officer induction ceremony

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. John E. Hillier
  • 188th Wing Public Affairs
The 188th Wing conducted an induction ceremony for its newest senior noncommissioned officers, June 2, 2018.

The ceremony was designed to recognize the accomplishments of 188th Airmen who were promoted into the senior NCO ranks over the past two years, and is the first such event organized and hosted by the wing.

“We really wanted to emphasize how special and important it is when an Airman becomes a senior NCO,” said Senior Master Sgt. Katrina Kinnard, organizing committee chairperson. “It’s a significant milestone in their careers, and we want to celebrate our members and the families who are their support systems.”

The wing’s newest senior NCOs also appreciated the recognition and the opportunity to share the evening with friends and family members in attendance.

“I didn’t know what to expect going into it, but it turned out to be really fun,” said Master Sgt. Kandee Burrows, NCOIC of command and control operations. “It felt good to share the night with my daughter – for her to see how much work goes into becoming a senior NCO, and that the reward is pretty great.”

The ceremony was the brainchild of the 188th Top 3 Council, and supported by 188th Wing Commander Col. Robert Kinney, the Chiefs’ Council, First Sergeants’ Council, and many others on base. The organizing committee also received support from Arkansas National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Mark Berry, and was attended by many state leaders, including Brig. Gen. Marc Sicard, Arkansas ANG commander, Command Sgt. Maj. Steven Veazey, senior enlisted leader of the Arkansas National Guard, Chief Master Sgt. Melvin McElyea, Arkansas ANG command chief master sergeant. 

“Having support from our state leadership was much appreciated, and made things go a lot smoother,” Kinnard said. “It’s nice to know that they’re in our corner. We were also honored to have Gen. Bobbi Doorenbos attend as well. She was the wing commander when we started the project and really helped get the ball rolling.”

Spouses and family members of the new inductees also appreciated the opportunity for a formal evening out. 

“My wife couldn’t believe how the dining facility was transformed into what looked like a ballroom at a fancy hotel, with all the décor applied to tables and everything,” said Master Sgt. Patrick Crumby, personnel systems NOCIC. “It was awesome for us to take a nice picture together in that formal setting. That will probably be the part that I appreciated the most of the ceremony – a one-night chance to get in our best dress clothes and have a night together where she got to see the culmination of my hard work getting to the senior NCO level.”

Inductees and organizers alike were proud to have been a part of a formal-dress event hosted by the 188th Wing, a first for the Airmen serving here.

“I can’t recall the last time we had a formal function here in mess dress, so it was a great opportunity to roll it all into one evening,” said Kinnard. “Depending on what job they have some of our members rarely get to wear their blues, so this was an opportunity to get dressed up, come out, and have a good time with their families.”

“It was awesome to see everyone in a different light,” said Crumby. “The mess dress is a great-looking uniform and you don’t see it that often at a Guard base; maybe you see pictures of it at most. To get to see it in person for a one-night experience was very cool.”

Event organizers hope to make a formal induction ceremony an ongoing tradition here, and have several ideas they are pursuing to improve the next induction ceremony.