National Guard appoints Crucian to be its new senior adviser on enlisted affairs


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ST. CROIX - The V.I. National Guard has named a new officer to take on the role as senior adviser on enlisted affairs.

The National Guard issued a statement Tuesday announcing that Maj. Gen. Renaldo Rivera, the adjutant general, appointed Command Sgt. Maj. Delores English-Edwards as state command sergeant major last Friday.

English-Edwards, who previously served as the command sergeant major for the V.I. National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion, is the second woman to serve in the position in the territory.

In her new role, English-Edwards is the principal senior adviser to the adjutant general on enlisted affairs of the National Guard. She will carry out policies and standards of performance, training, appearance and conduct of enlisted soldiers.

English-Edwards replaces former State Command Sgt. Maj. Mona Barnes, who was appointed to the rank in June 2010 and resigned abruptly from the post in February.

When attempts to reach Barnes were made on Tuesday, someone answered her cellular phone and said Barnes would not take any questions and would be unavailable for the next few days.

National Guard spokesman 2nd Lt. Kirk Rojas said Tuesday that he could not address any questions relative to the reasons behind Barnes' resignation and did not know any information about her future plans outside of her continued work with the guard.

"Right now she is no longer a full-time guardsman, she is a traditional guardsman," he said. "She will work her one weekend per month and three weeks each year and that is a part-time basis."

Rojas said once Rivera was notified of Barnes' resignation he pooled information about the individuals who already had attained the rank of command sergeant major before a selection was made.

"The general has made the selection and has put his full faith and confidence in SCSM English-Edwards to carry the torch and lead the men and woman of the national guard forward," he said.

Born on St. Croix, Barnes enlisted in the Tennessee National Guard in 1986, then transferred to the V.I. National Guard in 1989. She was the first female state command sergeant major for the V.I. National Guard, making her one of only three women in the 54 states and territories to hold the position at the time of her appointment.

English-Edwards has been an icon in the Recruiting and Retention Battalion.

She was born in Frederiksted and joined the Army National Guard in 1976. Some of English-Edwards' past assignments include time spent as a guidance counselor at San Juan Military Processing Station and at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, where she assisted prospective new enlistees as they transitioned to becoming members of the V.I. Army National Guard.

English-Edwards also served as the non-commissioned officer-in-charge for the Recruitment and Retention and Recruit Sustainment Program. Her decorations include the meritorious service medal, a number of achievement medals, numerous Army Good Conduct Medals, the overseas training medal, the service medal silver hourglass and the service medal bronze service star.

English-Edwards began her duty as state command sergeant major on Monday.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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