Promise Crawford is the SD Army National Guard’s first female Native American Sergeant Major
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Elizabeth “Promise” Crawford was promoted to the rank of sergeant major in the South Dakota Army National Guard during a ceremony held at Joint Force Headquarters on Camp Rapid on Thursday, Nov. 9. She is the first Native American woman promoted to Sgt. Maj. in the SDNG.
“It gives me great pleasure to be the first to address you as sergeant major, you are an outstanding Soldier, you’ve never disappointed you are always a hard worker and I have a ton of respect for you. I would send my son or daughter to war underneath you any day, any time,” said Col. Phillip Stiles of Sioux Falls.
Crawford expressed gratitude to her family for instilling in her the values of love, compassion, and courage that led her to join the Army.
In July 1996, she joined the United States Army and served for 5 years on Active duty. She was stationed at Ft. Carson, Colorado from 1996 to 1998 and at Vilsek, Germany from 1998 to 2001. In June 2002, Crawford became a member of the South Dakota Army National Guard.
“She’s very deserving of everything she’s gotten in life and she’s worked very hard to get there, but she didn’t do it alone. With the support of her family, fellow Soldiers, those past and present, they’ve all influenced her life and helped her get to where she is today,” said Marty Reum, retired U.S. Army combat veteran and trusted mentor to Sgt. Maj. Crawford.
Crawford included traditional elements such as a flag song and opening prayer in her ceremony. She presented three satin star quilts to Col. Phillip Stiles, Lt. Col. Brian Hass, and Command Sgt. Maj. Monte Patterson, followed by an honor song.
“These men have provided me with sound guidance and mentorship that I have often relied upon their expertise and advice for over 20 years, it’s to say thank you for all of the support and encouragement they’ve given me in my career,” said Sgt. Maj. Crawford.
Crawford is from Poplar, MT, and the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Indian Reservation.
“My advice is to always remember who you are and where you came from, keep yourself grounded to the earth and always carry yourself with pride and respect,” said Sgt. Maj. Promise Crawford.
When asked what has been the crowning jewel of her career and achievements she said it was the deployment with her brother and the 196th MEB on their deployment to Djibouti, Africa in 2020-2021, it brought a lot of honor to their family that they have served together in combat.
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