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NEWS | Jan. 19, 2024

Senior leaders join top VNG Soldiers, Airmen for GA visit

By Cotton Puryear | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

Maj. Gen. James W. Ring, the Adjutant General of Virginia, and Command Chief Master Sergeant Kelly B. Reich, Virginia National Guard Command Senior Enlisted Leader, led a delegation of the VNG’s top Soldiers and Airmen meeting their representatives at the Virginia General Assembly Jan. 17, 2024, in Richmond, Virginia. Ring started the day providing an update to the GA Military and Veterans Caucus and joined Reich and the top Soldiers and Airmen for visits with elected officials including Delegate Tim Griffin, Senator Bill Stanley, Senator Tara Durant, Delegate Amanda Batten, Delegate Michael Feggans, Delegate Jeion Ward and Theressa Parker, Chief of Staff for Senator Mamie Locke.

Lt. Col. Brett Johnson, the Virginia National Guard’s full-time support chaplain, provided the opening prayer for the Virginia Senate session, and he was recognized from the Senate gallery for his years of service. View photos at,  and read more about Johnson at The VNG’s Soldier and Airman of the Year were then recognized from the gallery of the Virginia Senate. View photos of the Senate recognition and legislator visits at The Virginia Army National Guard held their 2023 Best Warrior Competition March 16 - 19, 2023, and Soldiers assigned to the Virginia Beach-based 329th Regional Support Group and Maneuver Training Center Fort Barfoot took top honors. Read more about the VaARNG Best Warrior Competition at   The 329th’s Spc. Jared Bergman was named Soldier of the Year and MTC’s Staff Sgt. Dan Abbott was named Noncomissioned Officer of the Year. Abbott serves as a 12N horizontal construction engineer assigned to Fort Barfoot, Virginia. Bergman, now a sergeant, serves as a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to the Rocky Mount-based 229th Chemical Company. Abbott competed in the 2023 Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition, hosted by the Alaska National Guard, July 8 - 13, 2023, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, after claim the title of Region II NCO of the Year during the regional competition in May 2023, beating out NCOs from Maryland, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware. Read more about the Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition at The Virginia Air National Guard recognized the top Airmen of the Year during their annual awards ceremony Feb. 4, 2023. Watch the archived video live stream on Facebook at Staff Sgt. Britney Phillips was selected as the Virginia Air National Guard’s Outstanding Airman of the Year. She serves as an all source program manager for the 192nd Intelligence Squadron, 192nd Operations Group, 192nd Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, and she supports the 497th Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group as the all source tactician. Tech. Sgt. Jacquelyn N. Montoya was selected as the VaANG’s Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. She presides as the 4N Group Medical Functional Manager assigned 192nd Medical Group, 192nd Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis where she plans, supervises, manages, and trains enlisted members that provide physical exams and Immunizations to members of the 192nd Wing to include flying personnel. Master Sgt. Stephen Drakes was selected as the VaANG’s Outstanding Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. He serves as the flight chief, wing weapons and tactics, survival evasion resistance and escape specialist noncommissioned officer in charge assigned to the 192nd Operations Support Squadron, 192nd Operations Group, 192nd Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, where he plans, supervises, and manages all SERE training and personnel recovery operations that occur within the 192nd Wing.  

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