First female leader of AL National Guard takes command in ceremony

First female leader of AL National Guard takes command in ceremony

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A change of command ceremony took place for the Adjutant General of the Alabama Army National Guard Friday, and the new leader is making history.

During the ceremony, General Sheryl Gordon became the first female adjutant general in the history of the state's national guard.

Gov. Kay Ivey was in attendance and participated in the passing of the colors and gave remarks following the ceremony.

"One of the highest honors I have as governor is to serve as your Commander-in-Chief," said Ivey. "Today is indeed a special day in the Alabama National Guard. Today we begin a new era as we honor General Perry Smith and usher in a new leader in General Sheryl Gordon. Although the tag may have changed, the mission remains the same: to honor the flag and to protect our state and nation with dignity."

Ivey also presented Smith with the William Oates award for his distinguished service. He talked about his service in his final statement.

"If you count those ROTC years of mine, I've been around the military for over fifty years," said Smith. "It's been a great ride and this terminating job that I've had as the adjunct general is literally a dream come true. It's been a great six and a half years."

Gordon also spoke during the ceremony. She thanked Ivey, the guard soldiers and airmen, the civilians, and the families.

"We currently have more than 850 Alabama guard soldiers and airmen deployed on various missions all around the globe, excelling in everything they do, from logistics, to communication, from military police work, to special operations. As many of you know, my goal is to do what is best for the Alabama National Guard and to take care of soldiers and airmen, civilians and their families," said Gordon.

Gordon will take over on August 1 following the retirement of Major General Perry Smith.

Gordon joins other notable females in the highest state positions including the governor, Alabama Chief Justice Lyn Stuart, Alabama Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh and State School Board Vice President Stephanie Bell, and others.

Watch the full presentation below.

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