NEWS | March 4, 2020

Top VNG units, personnel recognized at 2020 Virginia Military Ball

By Mr. Cotton Puryear

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia National Guard senior leaders recognized the top company-level units in the Virginia Army National Guard for high levels of readiness at the 2020 Virginia Military Ball Feb. 29, 2020, in Richmond, Virginia. The Virginia Air National Guard Outstanding Airman of the Year, Outstanding Non-commissioned Officer of the Year, Outstanding Senior NCO of the Year and First Sergeant of the Year were recognized at the start of the event. The Virginia Military Ball was a partnership with World War I and World War II Commission, the Virginia National Guard Management Group, the Virginia National Guard Association and the Virginia Army and Air National Guard Enlisted Association. 

Retired Gen. Carter F. Ham, President and Chief Executive Officer for the Association of the United States Army, was the guest speaker at the ball. The VaARNG Officer Candidate School provided the World War II color guard, and the Troutville-based 29th Infantry Division Band provided music for the event. 

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, and Command Chief Master Sergeant James J. Profita, the Virginia National Guard Command Senior Enlisted Leader, presented the Adjutant General’s Cup to the Bowling Green-based Charlie Company, 229th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Feb. 29, 2020, in Richmond, Virginia, at the 2020 Virginia Military Ball. The unit also received the Excellence in Training Award. 

The Adjutant General’s Cup is awarded to the unit achieving the highest overall average in the areas of overall assigned personnel strength, attendance at monthly drill weekends and attendance at annual training. 

To earn the Excellence in Training Award, a unit must have 90 percent of all personnel qualified in their military occupational specialty, have 95 percent of all personnel present for annual training or receive constructive credit for AT attendance, maintain monthly drill attendance of 90 percent, have 95 percent of all assigned personnel qualify with their assigned weapon, have 95 percent of all crews qualify on their assigned crew-served weapons, have 90 percent of all assigned personnel pass the Army Physical Fitness Test and pass the Organizational Inspection Program in all training categories. 

Williams and Profita also presented the state-level National Guard Pershing Trophy and Certificate of Victory for marksmanship to the Virginia Beach-based Alpha Troop, 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Feb. 29, 2020, in Richmond, Virginia, at the 2020 Virginia Military Ball. The state-level Pershing Award is presented for the highest marksmanship scores in the Virginia Army National Guard in annual qualification with assigned individual weapons. 

For 2019, the top Virginia National Guard Airmen were newly promoted Staff Sgt. Thomas Massa, 192nd Medical Group, Outstanding Airman of the Year; Tech. Sgt. Solomon Drake, 192nd Operations Group, Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Year; Master Sgt. Michael Ray, 192nd Mission Support Group, Outstanding Senior NCO of the Year; and Master Sgt. Dalton Johnson, 192nd Operations Group, Outstanding First Sergeant of the Year.

The Outstanding Company Grade Officer of the Year award went to 1st Lt. Dara Kirkland, 192nd Operations Group, and the Outstanding Field Grade Officer of the Year award to Maj. Lawrence Dietrich, 192nd Operations Group.

Massa also received the 2019 Outstanding Virginia Air National Guard Guardsman of the Year award.