Kentucky Guard welcomes new Command Chief Warrant Officer

Story by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

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Chief Warrant Officer Dean Stoops passes the officer’s sword back to Warrant Officer Victor Blair to complete the symbolic change of responsibility as Stoops became the Kentucky National Guard’s command chief warrant officer, Jan. 31, 2014 in Frankfort, Ky. Stoops assumed the role from Chief Warrant Officer James Simms who is retiring after more than 40 years in uniform. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Chief Warrant Officer Dean Stoops assumed responsibility as Kentucky’s fifth command chief warrant officer during a ceremony held at the State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., Jan. 31, 2014.

Stoops succeeds Chief Warrant Officer James Simms who is retiring after more than 40 years in uniform and three years as the state’s command chief warrant officer.

“It is indeed an honor to be here as the command chief warrant officer for the Kentucky National Guard,” said Stoops. “I have to thank General Tonini for having the confidence in me to lead and manage the warrant officer corps into the future.”

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Kentucky’s adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini places Command Staff insignia on the uniform of Chief Warrant Officer Dean Stoops during a change of responsibility ceremony in Frankfort, Ky., Jan. 31, 2014. The insignia replaced Stoops aviation branch insignia and symbolized his transfer to the command staff as the new command chief warrant officer for the Kentucky Guard. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

To see more photos from the ceremony, click here.

Kentucky’s adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini oversaw the ceremony and participated in the passing of the officer sword from Simms to Stoops. In front of a large crowd of family, friends and fellow Guardsmen in the Capitol Rotunda, Stoops exchanged the aviation branch insignia on his uniform and became the newest member of the Kentucky Guard’s Command Staff.

Also in attendance were Stoops’ father, retired Army Lt. Col. Dick Stoops and son, Air Force Capt. Brian Stoops, a generational example of a long military tradition in the Stoops family.

Born in Fort Campbell, Ky., Stoops has served in the Kentucky Guard for more than 35 years and is returning to the Commonwealth after his last assignment with the National Guard Bureau. He has served for the last four years in Washington D.C. as the Army National Guard Aviation Standardization Officer and senior aviation warrant officer advisor where he said he learned of the Kentucky Guard’s reputation at the highest levels of the military.

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Chief Warrant Officer Dean Stoops presents his first coins as Kentucky’s new command chief warrant officer to his son, Air Force Capt. Brian Stoops and father, retired Army Lt. Col. Dick Stoops following a change of responsibility ceremony in Frankfort, Ky., Jan. 31, 2014. Stoops is a third generation career Soldier and thanked his father and son for inspiring him to succeed in his own career. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

“All along the way, Kentucky was referred to as an organization with exceptional leadership and that not only met the standard but exceeded the standard,” he recalled. “So it’s very gratifying for me to come back into this position.”

Stoops new role serves as the senior warrant officer advising the adjutant general on the state of the Warrant Officer Corps. He is also responsible for providing guidance, resources, assistance and supervision to all warrant officers in the Kentucky Army National Guard.

“We need to ensure that we do not lose the expertise and knowledge gained in the past decade at war, and one of the keys to that is our warrant officer corps,” said Tonini. “Dean’s qualifications for this job are unquestionable  and his history with the Kentucky Guard is quite extensive. He is the right man at the right time for this job.”

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