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NEWS | Nov. 14, 2023

Kentucky National Guard MP promoted to Sgt. Maj. through mentorship

By Andy Dickson, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

Kentucky Army National Guard 1st Sgt. Naarah Stallard has been promoted to the rank of sergeant major in Louisville, Kentucky on Oct. 15.

Stallard has served 27 years in the military, with the last 22 years in the Kentucky Army National Guard (KYARNG).

Stallard’s active-duty career as a military police officer began at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and led her to Baumholder, Germany, and Fort Bliss, Texas. When she was about to end her contract with the active duty, she found a home KYARNG’s 223rd Military Police Company.

Stallard credits the mentorship she received in the KYARNG as the key to her success to being promoted to sergeant major.

“It was not in my plan to make it this far,” said Stallard. “My mentor growing up was the battalion command sergeant major for the 198th Military Police Battalion. He said to me, ‘I see big potential in you. I know how dedicated you are to the 223rd and the mission of the Guard.’ He just motivated me to keep going and achieve more. I was amazed how he saw potential in me as a young staff sergeant.”

“It takes a village,” she added. "I would've never made it this far by myself; I had mentors and family that always supported me".

Her mentor, Command Sgt. Maj. John D. Sallee, the retired senior enlisted for the 198th MP Battalion, pinned the new rank on her and gave her a framed command sergeant major rank patch with a personal note.

“Without a goal, you can never charge towards an objective and claim that victory as yours,” said Sallee. “If you believe in yourself and your capabilities, no obstacle can stop you from reaching for that star.”

She has used that mentorship to start a new goal for herself.

“We are never finished with our goals,” she said. “If we reach one, we set a new one. My new goal is to be that mentor for young Soldiers and find that potential in them. I hope I can be that motivation for a younger Soldier.”

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