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    Oklahoma Guardsman makes history with recent promotion

    Oklahoma Guardsman makes history with recent promotion

    Photo By Maj. Geoff Legler | SGM Seretta Lawson read more read more



    Story by Maj. Geoff Legler 

    Oklahoma National Guard

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Late last year, 1st Sgt. Seretta Lawson, of Enid, Oklahoma, was promoted to the rank of sergeant major, making her the first African-American female to attain the top enlisted rank in the Oklahoma Army National Guard.

    Lawson began her military career in 1993, as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves where she completed Army basic training while still in high school and attended her advanced individual training as an Administrative Specialist after graduation.

    Once her initial training was complete, Lawson transitioned to the active Army and was stationed in Korea for a year followed by Fort Bliss, Texas, for another year.

    After completing two years of service, Lawson was transferred to Coleman Barracks near Mannheim, Germany, where she spent the remaining six years of her enlistment, still serving as an Administrative Specialist.

    After eight years of Army service, Lawson decided it was time to return home, but she was not ready for her military career to end. She spoke to an Army National Guard recruiter in Enid and joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard as a Communication Specialist in 2002.

    Lawson deployed to Iraq in 2005 with the Louisiana National Guard’s 415th Military Intelligence Battalion and was promoted to the rank of sergeant. After completing 10 months in Iraq, she returned to Oklahoma and was reassigned to the Recruiting and Retention Battalion and was promoted to staff sergeant in September 2007.

    Lawson was once again tapped for deployment in 2008, this time to Kuwait for nine months with Headquarter Battery, 45th Field Artillery Brigade, Oklahoma Army National Guard.

    With another successful deployment behind her, Lawson transferred to the 45th IBCT and was assigned as the Brigade Communication Security Custodian and before long was promoted to sergeant first class.

    In 2011, Lawson was deployed to Afghanistan for ten months, where she served as signal (communications) specialist with the 45th IBCT.

    Upon her return, Lawson was given the opportunity to transfer to the 45th Brigade Special Troops Battalion (BSTB) and to serve as a platoon sergeant. While at the BTSB, she was promoted to first sergeant and had the distinction of being the BTSB’s first female first sergeant.

    In March 2018, Lawson was promoted to sergeant major and assigned as the Sergeant Major for the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s Military Personnel Section at the Oklahoma Joint Force Headquarters. With this promotion, she became the first African-American female sergeant major in the Oklahoma Army National Guard.

    In her new position with the Military Personnel Section, Lawson oversees a process called “Crossroads.” All Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen are required to participate in the Crossroads program before separating from the Oklahoma National Guard. The program provides each separating Soldier with a final review of their military personnel, medical and finance records and a final health evaluation before leaving the National Guard.

    “Sgt. Maj. Lawson has always shown herself to be a courageous and dedicated member of the Oklahoma Army National Guard,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Thompson, adjutant general for Oklahoma. “She brings a perspective to her new position that will be to the benefit of every Soldier in the Oklahoma Army National Guard.”

    Lawson recently spent two-weeks at the Oklahoma National Guard’s premier training site, Camp Gruber, which is located near Braggs, Oklahoma. While there, she served as the Non-Commissioned Officer In-Charge of Training Support for the Air Assault, Pathfinder and Rappel Master schools. In this capacity, Lawson was responsible for any and all support needed by the instructors and students of the three courses. Support for the courses included food, housing, medical, safety and aviation coordination. At the conclusion of the courses, instructors and students alike said they were well taken care of throughout their time at Camp Gruber.

    During a recent conversation about her role as a sergeant major, Lawson said, “I feel it is my job and responsibility to educate younger Soldiers, they are the next generation and need drive, motivation and, at the same time, they need mentorship [in order to] be successful in the Oklahoma National Guard.

    In her civilian profession, Lawson is a customer relations specialist with the commissary on Vance Air Force Base.




    Date Taken: 05.29.2018
    Date Posted: 05.29.2018 13:46
    Story ID: 278697
    Location: OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, US 

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