Inaugural SNCO induction at Jefferson Barracks Air National Guard Station

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Phoenix Lietch
  • 131st Bomb Wing Public Affairs

The 131st Bomb Wing conducted a senior noncommissioned officer induction ceremony at Jefferson Barracks Air National Guard Station, St. Louis, for the first time in the wing's history May 4, 2024.

The ceremony recognized more than 40 Airmen assigned to Jefferson Barracks ANGS for their achievement of entering the SNCO ranks.

Airmen holding the ranks of master sergeant through chief master sergeant were invited to participate in the induction.

During the ceremony, wing leaders spoke to the newly-inducted members about the importance of fulfilling the role of a SNCO.

“When we formally recognize our people and induct them into this higher level of responsibility, we are saying, ‘You are now charged with going forward and possibly fighting and winning a war on behalf of your nation,’” said Chief Master Sgt. Jason Henke, the command chief master sergeant for the 131st Bomb Wing.

The MO-851st Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps honor guard formed a saber arch as each honoree entered the ceremony. Honorees were then presented with a medallion to signify their place in a tradition of excellence.

“The 131st has a great history of having some of the best senior NCOs,” said Col. Jared Kennish, the 131st Bomb Wing commander. “The wing relies on that leadership and mentoring our SNCOs provide.”

For two 131st Airmen, the ceremony was especially meaningful. Two sisters were able to share their induction experience.

“I definitely felt like it was a once in a lifetime experience,” said Master Sgt. Lauren Slough, a training manager with the 157th Air Operations Squadron. “It made the ceremony even more special to be inducted at the same time as my sister, Senior Master Sgt. Elise Rich.”

While the Wing has previously celebrated SNCOs at Whiteman Air Force Base, this was the first of potentially many of its kind at Jefferson Barracks ANGS.

“This is the first of many opportunities we will take to recognize our amazing Airmen and their career accomplishments,” said Henke.

Kennish said that the ceremony is a good start to building better connections among Airmen, and serves as a good foundation for the Wing to build on.