Kentucky Soldier named Outstanding Engineer Warrant Officer

Kentucky National Guard Staff Report

CW2 Jacob Lewis

Chief Warrant Officer Jacob Lewis was named the Outstanding Engineer Warrant Officer for 2014. Lewis serves as the Construction Engineering Technician with the 149th Vertical Construction Company. (Kentucky National Guard command photo)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Chief Warrant Officer Jacob Lewis with Kentucky’s 149th Vertical Construction Company has been named the Outstanding Engineer Warrant Officer for 2014 for the Army National Guard. Lewis serves as the Construction Engineering Technician for the Cynthiana, Kentucky-based 149th.

“Being named the Outstanding Engineer Warrant Officer of the Year is an honor and words can’t explain my feelings right now,” said Lewis. “This means to me what I think every engineer regardless of enlisted or officer strive to accomplish at some point in their careers.”

Enlisting in 2002 as a combat engineer, Lewis has spent his entire time in uniform in the Kentucky Guard. A decision based upon his family’s history of service and a desire to serve.

“I believe it was my path to serve this great nation and to be part a team of individuals that all fight for the same cause. I wanted to be able to look back at my life and say I did what most only dream of in seeing the world and helping out with our freedoms, and I have and will continue to do just that.”

It was in 2012 that Lewis decided to make the transition from NCO to warrant officer. With the confidence he had garnered as an enlisted Soldier, Lewis felt his abilities could take him further.

“During my time as an NCO I felt like I could offer so much more and wanted to take my expertise to the next level. I chose to become a technical expert so that I could not only lead Soldiers through diverse situations, but also train them into becoming experts in their fields.”

Camp Spann 4

Warrant Officer Jacob Lewis and members of the 149th Vertical Construction Company stand with a German engineer officer at Camp Spann, Afghanistan, 2012. Enlisting into the Kentucky Guard in 2002, Lewis has been an engineer his whole career, deploying twice to Afghanistan. (Courtesy photo)

After graduating warrant officer school, Lewis didn’t skip a beat, keeping his focus on the mission at hand, his Soldiers and the quality work ethic known from warrant officers. He said being a warrant officer has been the most rewarding experience of his career.

“I believe that it takes more than just being able to build a structure in order to be recommended for such a prestigious award. It takes time hard work and dedication. We as warrants hold the keys to our success, we have to be the ones that answer the hard questions to our supervisors and advise our chain of command in order to accomplish the mission and for them to have great faith and trust in us. I think it is something that anyone can achieve its not unreachable by any means but they have to want it as I did and put in the work. Sometimes we are faced with challenges and it’s how you as an individual handle those challenges that make each of us different.”

Kentucky’s state command chief warrant officer, Chief Warrant Officer Dean Stoops believes Lewis was the first Kentucky warrant submitted for this award. And based upon Lewis’ win, Stoops plans to submit more Kentucky warrant officers for national-level honors.

“CW2 Jacob Lewis is the embodiment of our State military motto of ‘Unbridled Service’, so it makes my job easy when we have such outstanding talent and exceptional leaders as him.  I couldn’t be more proud of Chief Lewis and our Warrant Officer community.”

The Outstanding Engineer Warrant Officer awards are presented annually to the engineer warrant officer in each Army component, selected in recognition of their outstanding contributions to military engineering by demonstrating technical and leadership ability.  Lewis is scheduled to receive the award in May at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

With new bragging rights in his field, Lewis is also taking the next step in his personal life as he and his fiancee are planning their wedding for later this year.

“Life is too good right now,” he said. “I will just count my blessings each day and go out and try to be better than yesterday.”

 

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