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Friends, family and colleagues gathered at the Illinois Military Academy in Springfield, Illinois, June 6, to celebrate the promotion of Erin Connelly to the rank of master sergeant.
Lt. Col. Jason Carter, Deputy Director for the Illinois Army National Guard’s Plans Operations and Training Directorate (G3) officiated the ceremony and congratulated Connelly on her promotion.
“This is a momentous step as a senior noncommissioned officer in your military career,” said Carter. “As a sergeant first class, you’re in the top 10 percent of Army NCOs, as a master sergeant, that jumps to the top three percent. Congratulations on making it to the top three percent.”
Connelly, a native of Teutopolis, Illinois, enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in 2003 as paralegal specialist with the 634th Support Battalion. She later transitioned to mortuary affairs in the same battalion before starting her federal technician career in 2017 as the budget assistant for the G3. Connelly currently serves as the logistics services senior NCO for the 244th Digital Liaison Detachment based in Chicago and continues to work full-time in the G3 as the new equipment and displaced equipment training (NET/DET) NCO in charge.
Connelly was “pinned” by Col. (ret.) Eric Davis, someone she considers a friend and mentor.
Connelly thanked those in attendance and those who helped her throughout her career.
“People always ask the question: ‘How much longer will you do this?’,” said Connelly. “I don’t know, but at the end of the day I just wanted to be something nobody thought I could be.”