NEWS | March 18, 2022

R&R names battalion NCO of the Year

By Sgt. 1st Class Terra C. Gatti | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office

The Virginia Army National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Battalion selected Sgt. 1st Class Jo-Ann Lindquist-Rucker as their noncommissioned officer of the year in a short ceremony held March 15, 2022, at Fort Pickett, Virginia.
 
“Each year we have an NCO of the year. Traditionally it seems like it always went to a recruiter,” explained Master Sgt. Paul Johnson, senior enlisted leader for the battalion. He said they wanted to include everyone this time, not just the recruiters. “One person really stood out in my mind, and we voted on it and everybody totally 100 percent agreed.”
 
Lindquist-Rucker serves as the battalion’s senior supply sergeant and was completely surprised with the honor. She was asked to join a fellow NCO by the commander’s office and then joined a small group of NCOs as Johnson explained the award. Then, he announced her as the award winner.
 
“I was so honored and grateful that I won the award, but then to hear there was a vote made it even more special to me,” Lindquist-Rucker said. “Supply sometimes can be a very thankless job and to think my peers and supervisors thought enough of me and my work ethic to select me for that award, it magnified it in my eyes.”
 
Lindquist-Rucker is originally from the Virgin Islands and joined the U.S. Army after high school to experience more than island life. She spent ten years on active duty and then took a break before joining the Virginia National Guard in 2010 alongside her husband, retired Sgt. 1st Class Felix Rucker. She’s worked in supply for R&R since 2018.
 
Lt. Col. Scott Nivens, the battalion commander, praised Lindquist-Rucker’s work, and credited her with keeping him straight on all things logistics.
 
“That’s what the NCO Corps does, it supports the officers. The officers plan and NCOs execute,” Nivens said. “So, thank you very much for all that execution and planning.”
 
Rucker credited the supply sergeants she’s worked with over the years to her success, including Warrant Officer Nathan Jarmon, Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Groves and Sgt. Tasha Henry. She also thanked her friends, mentors and husband for their support over the years.
 
“I just think with a good team, anything can be accomplished,” Lindquist-Rucker said. “I love this stuff; I love taking care of Soldiers and I love pumping people up and I love being the smile if I can be.”

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