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NEWS | Nov. 16, 2023

Native American Promoted to South Dakota Guard Sergeant Major

By Staff Sgt. Breanne Donnell, South Dakota National Guard Public Affairs

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Elizabeth “Promise” Crawford was promoted to the rank of sergeant major in the South Dakota Army National Guard during a ceremony on Camp Rapid Nov. 9. 

“It gives me great pleasure to be the first to address you as sergeant major. You are an outstanding Soldier, you’ve never disappointed,” said Col. Phillip Stiles. “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.“

Crawford thanked her family for laying the foundation she built her character on — love, passion and courage — and for giving her a life that led her to join the Army. 

“I’ve had an amazing career and I’m so glad I get to finish it here at Joint Force Headquarters,” said Sgt. Maj. Crawford.

She joined the Army in 1996 and served five years on active duty, stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, and Vilsek, Germany, before becoming a South Dakota Army National Guard member in 2002.

“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,“ said Marty Reum, retired U.S. Army combat veteran and mentor to Crawford. “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.”

Crawford incorporated her culture into her ceremony with a traditional flag song, a prayer and an honor song. She presented three satin star quilts to Stiles, Lt. Col. Brian Hass, and Command Sgt. Maj. Monte Patterson.

“These men have provided me with sound guidance and mentorship that I have often relied upon their expertise and advice for over 20 years,“ she said. “It’s to say thank you for all of the support and encouragement they’ve given me in my career.”

Crawford is from Poplar, Montana, 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,” Crawford said.

She served as the supply NCO for the 147th Field Artillery Brigade, senior supply NCO for the 109th Reginal Support Group, 1st sergeant for the 152nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, and S4 senior operations sergeant for the 196th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. Crawford was recently selected to mentor and lead as a member of the Joint Staff, supporting performance excellence programs, the State Partnership Program and domestic operations.

Crawford has deployed on federal missions three times, to Afghanistan in 2013, Kuwait in 2016 and Djibouti in 2020-2021.



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