RICHMOND, Va. — A select group of current and former Virginia National Guard artillery Soldiers are being recognized for their service to the field artillery community with the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara and the Ancient Order of Saint Barbara.
Traditionally, the occasion is marked by an annual regimental muster and celebration around St. Barbara’s Day, Dec. 4, by the Norfolk-based 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, but this year’s planned event was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Field Artillery Association, the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara recognizes those individuals who have demonstrated the highest standards of integrity and moral character; displayed an outstanding degree of professional competence; served the United States Army or Marine Corps Field Artillery with selflessness; and contributed to the promotion of the Field Artillery in ways that stand out in the eyes of the recipient’s seniors, subordinates and peers alike.
This year, 11 current and former members of the 111th were honored with the Honorable Order:
Sgt. Maj. Jeffery Fitzgerald
Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Mogush
Staff Sgt. Steven Grant
Staff Sgt. Albert Korngage
Sgt. Angel Sanchez
Sgt. 1st Class Reginald Williams
Staff Sgt. Kenneth Shelley
Retired Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ralph "RJ" Whaley
Maj. David Coyle
Capt. Daniel Tarrant
Maj. Michael Burke
The Ancient Order is reserved for an elite few whose long-term dedication to the Field Artillery has embodied the spirit, dignity and sense of sacrifice and commitment epitomized by Saint Barbara. It recognizes the select few who stand above their brethren of the Honorable Order in terms of conspicuous, life time service for or on behalf of the United States Army Field Artillery or Marine Corps Field Artillery. The Ancient Order is the more distinguished of the two levels of the Order of Saint Barbara.
This year, five current and former artillerymen were presented with the Ancient Order:
Retired Col. Mike Coleman
Retired Col. Fred Bolton
Col. Preston Scott
Command Sgt. Maj. Cliff White
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Henry Motley
According to the Field Artillery Association, the Honorable Order of Molly Pitcher recognizes the voluntary efforts of individuals who have contributed in a significant way to the improvement of the field artillery community. All spouses, military personnel and civilians are eligible for the order. This year, three women were presented with the Honorable Order of Molly Pitcher:
Mrs. Mary Fortner
Mrs. Cynthia Motley
Mrs. Heather Fitch
As part of the year-end recognitions, the Hanover-based Alpha Battery was named “Best Battery” for 2020. They take the “Best Battery” streamer from 2019’s winner, the Hampton-based Charlie Battery.