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130th AW members promoted to master sgt. at NCO Academy graduation

From left, Maj. Clarence K. "Kenny" Manus, Jr., commander of the 130th Force Support Squadron, 130th Airlift Wing, West Virginia Air National Guard, Charleston, W.Va. and Senior Master Sgt. John R. Ortiz, right, superintendant with the 130th FSS, pin stripes on Master Sgt. Theresa M. Curry, center, a personnel craftsman with the 130th FSS. Maser Sgt. Curry was one of three guardsmen from West Virginia promoted to the rank of master sergeant immediatelly following graduation from the NCO Academy at the I.G. Brown Air National Guard Training and Education Center, McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Knoxville, Tenn., Nov. 16, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. David G. Rabel)

From left, Maj. Clarence K. "Kenny" Manus, Jr., commander of the 130th Force Support Squadron, 130th Airlift Wing, West Virginia Air National Guard, Charleston, W.Va. and Senior Master Sgt. John R. Ortiz, right, superintendant with the 130th FSS, pin stripes on Master Sgt. Theresa M. Curry, center, a personnel craftsman with the 130th FSS. Maser Sgt. Curry was one of three guardsmen from West Virginia promoted to the rank of master sergeant immediatelly following graduation from the NCO Academy at the I.G. Brown Air National Guard Training and Education Center, McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Knoxville, Tenn., Nov. 16, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. David G. Rabel)

Charleston, W.Va. -- Seven non-commissioned officers from the 130th Airlift Wing, West Virginia Air National Guard, Charleston, West Virginia graduated from the NCO Academy, at the I.G. Brown Air National Guard Training and Education Center, McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Knoxville, Tenn., Nov. 16, 2010.

Three of the technical sergeants got a surprise when they were promoted to master sergeant after the graduation ceremony.

"After we took group pictures, we called attention to orders, lined them up and promoted them," said Senior Master Sgt. John R. Ortiz, superintendent with the 130th Force Support Squadron.

The three members who received their E-7 stripes were Master Sgt. Dennis J. Brogan, a personnel craftsman at the West Virginia Air National Guard Headquarters; and Master Sgt. Theresa M. Curry and Master Sgt. Christy M. Parkins, both personnel craftsmen with the 130th FSS.

Master Sgt. Brogan said he was surprised because he did not expect to make master sergeant for a couple of years. "Out of 130 students in our class, we were the only ones who got promoted," he said.

More than a dozen West Virginia Air National Guard supervisors and commanders attended the graduation ceremony.

The graduation was significant because it was the first time the West Virginia Air National Guard had the option to host the class in-residence, said Master Sgt. Curry. "We did twelve weeks here at home station," she said.

"They started the satellite class in the summer," said Senior Master Sgt. Ortiz, "and attended the class every Tuesday and Thursday evening via teleconference."

"A couple of nights sounds easy, but we had to do homework as well as juggle our fulltime jobs with our family life," said Master Sgt. Brogan. "It was definitely a challenge," he said.

Master Sgt. Parkins said the satellite course was effective because they gave speeches and practiced interpersonal skills in groups. "You learn more by doing," she said.

Senior NCOs from the 130th AW facilitated the course, said Senior Master Sgt. Ortiz.

"They made sure we were on the right track with our discussion and they graded us on the briefings," said Master Sgt. Brogan.

The senior NCOs who acted as course facilitators were Chief Master Sgt. William F. "Bill" Brown, chief of communications maintenance with the 130th Communications Flight, the lead facilitator; Chief Master Sgt. Ralph A. Walker, a human resource advisor with WVANG HQ; Senior Master Sgt. Steven A. Martin, a human resource advisor with the 130th Airlift Wing; and Master Sgt. James M. "Matt" Lyons, assistant chief of training with the 130th Civil Engineering Fire Protection, the alternate lead facilitator.

"The four of us took the facilitator course down at McGhee Tyson, February 23, 2010," said Master Sgt. Lyons. "

"All of us felt we learned a lot. We look forward to seeing the satellite program grow and developing the field of senior enlisted leaders," said Master Sgt. Brogan.

Master Sgt. Lyons said the unit has four people scheduled for the March 2011 class and four more are needed to fill it.

West Virginia Air National Guardsmen now have the option attending the satellite program which is a 12-week distance learning version of the NCO Academy followed by two and a half weeks at the NCO Academy at McGhee Tyson. Registration for the 2011-5 Satellite NCOA class is currently underway. For more information, 130th AW members can contact their unit training manager. The next class is scheduled to be held March 7, 2011 to May 26, 2011, at home station; May 31, 2011 to 15 June 15, 2011, in-residence at McGhee Tyson.
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