Blair named Kentucky warrant officer of the year

By Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

Chief Warrant Officer Victor Blair (center) is presented the Kentucky Warrant Officer of the Year award by Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan (right) and Command Chief Warrant Officer Dean Stoops in Louisville, Ky., Feb. 11, 2017. Blair transitioned to warrant officer after 30 years as an enlisted Soldier rising to the rank of command sergeant major. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

Chief Warrant Officer Victor Blair (center) is presented the Kentucky Warrant Officer of the Year award by Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan (right) and Command Chief Warrant Officer Dean Stoops in Louisville, Ky., Feb. 11, 2017. Blair transitioned to the warrant officer corps after 30 years as an enlisted Soldier where he rose to the rank of command sergeant major. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Chief Warrant Officer Victor Blair has been named the 2016 Warrant Officer of the Year in the Kentucky National Guard. Blair was presented with the award during the National Guard Association of Kentucky annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky, Feb. 11.

The award recognizes individuals who exemplify the Warrant Officer Creed and have contributed significantly to the image and reputation of the Warrant Officer Cohort in ways that stand out in the eyes of the recipient’s seniors, subordinates, and peers.

“It is an honor to just be a warrant in the Kentucky Guard, but to be the warrant officer of the year is awesome, because you are part of an elite group of Soldiers,” Blair said.

Blair currently serves as the full-time surface maintenance supervisor at the Field Maintenance Shop in Jackson, Kentucky and as the Construction Equipment Repair Technician with the 201st Forward Support Company out of Ashland, Kentucky.

State Command Chief Warrant Officer Dean Stoops said he has heard from numerous Soldiers that Blair was the right choice for the award.

“It makes my job of representing the Warrant Officer Cohort easy when we have such outstanding examples as CW2 Gordy Blair,” said Stoops. “Relying on his 35 years of military experience which included 4 years in the rank of command sergeant major, he has a long history of superior performance and exceeding standards.  Even as a newly appointed warrant officer in 2014, Mr. Blair received the U.S. Army Engineer School Commandant’s Award as a result of his performance at his warrant officer basic course.  It seems only natural that he would someday be recognized as the state’s most outstanding warrant officer.”

Command Sgt. Maj. Victor Blair in Afghanistan in 2011 as part of Kentucky's Agribusiness Development Team 3. (Courtesy photo)

Command Sgt. Maj. Victor Blair in Afghanistan in 2011 as part of Kentucky’s Agribusiness Development Team 3. (Courtesy photo)

Originally enlisting in the Army in 1980 to further his maintenance education, Blair joined the Kentucky Guard six years later as a Track Vehicle Mechanic. He would later add Construction Equipment Operator, Construction Equipment Repairer and Automated Logistic Specialist MOSs to his resume. Over the next 30 years, Blair would use his knowledge and experience to become a subject matter expert and a perfect candidate for a warrant officer.

Blair certainly left a name for himself, leading by example for three decades of service. Capt. Brian Pennington, commander of the 201st Forward Support Company has served as Blair’s commander since 2015. He said he has looked to Blair to accomplish the tough jobs, always knowing it would get done the right way.

“Chief Blair is a humble, dedicated professional,” said Pennington. “With all of this experience, Chief Blair is a mentor for everyone in the battalion from the youngest private to the most senior officer within the organization. We are fortunate to have his expertise.”

In order to extend his time in service and to allow Soldiers under him the chance for advancement, Blair decided in 2014 to make the jump from enlisted Soldier to warrant officer. He admits that is was a challenge going from a command sergeant major to a fresh warrant officer, describing it as “starting all over again.”

“It has given me the opportunity to further my career and the chance to continue to coach, teach and mentor other Soldiers,” he said. “I think the years of experience and great opportunities the Guard has offered me, I have managed to transition quite well.”

Blair’s advice for Soldiers considering becoming a warrant officer. “I would say give it your best shot, it can and will be a challenging and rewarding career, and to be called a quiet professional and part of an elite group of Soldiers, the Warrant Officer Cohort is an Honor within itself.”

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