First Sgt. Jeffrey Lewis has been promoted to sergeant major in the Iowa National Guard, making history as the first African-American to hold that position, reports the Des Moines Register.
A change of responsibility ceremony was held Sunday (Oct. 21) afternoon at Miller Armory located on Camp Dodge in Johnston, according to a news release from the Iowa National Guard. The 54-year-old veteran has served for nearly 37 years. He began his military career with the Iowa National Guard in 1981, when he enlisted as a combat medic with Charlie Company, 204th Medical Battalion in Des Moines. He graduated from Des Moines Technical High School in 1982. That same year, Lewis completed basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
He has deployed twice, supporting Operation Desert Storm with the 209th Area Support Medical Company and Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 134th Ground Ambulance Company, according to the release. Lewis holds the 68W Combat Medic Specialist’s Military Occupational Specialty and has worked full-time for the Iowa National Guard for more than 15 years. His assignments include serving as warehouse technician and as the non-commissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) for the state medical readiness mobilization, and his most recent assignment was as the NCOIC of operations for the Iowa Army National Guard’s Medical Command. As a sergeant major, Lewis assumes the duties of chief operations sergeant, 109th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, located in Iowa City.