SANDSTON, Va. — Command Sgt. Maj. Cheyenne M. Johnson will succeed Command Sgt. Maj. Carl A. Holcomb as the Virginia Army National Guard Command Sergeant Major according to an announcement made July 29, 2015, by Brig. Gen. Walter L. Mercer, Virginia National Guard Assistant Adjutant General – Army. Holcomb is set to retire after serving more than 33 years in uniform.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Johnson brings an impressive amount of experience with him, having served at multiple major subordinate command level positions, most recently as the command sergeant major for the 29th Infantry Division,” Mercer said. “He has also served on the National Guard Bureau’s Command Sergeant Major Advisory Council, and that has given him a level of strategic perspective and understanding that will help make sure that the interests of the Virginia Army National Guard are communicated at the NGB and Department of the Army level.”
Johnson joined the Virginia Army National Guard Dec. 28, 1978, and has more than 36 years experience in the Virginia Army National Guard. He has served in every noncommissioned officer leadership position from battery team leader to division-level command sergeant major. Johnson’s key leadership assignments include first sergeant of Bravo and Echo Batteries, 3rd Battalion, 111th Air Defense Artillery, battalion command sergeant major of 3rd Battalion, 111th Air Defense Artillery, brigade- level command sergeant major of 29th Division Artillery, 91st Troop Command and 329th Regional Support Group as well as the senior enlisted advisor at Besmaya Combat Training Center in Iraq.
“He knows the Virginia Army National Guard and its units , and that will help make this transition with Command Sgt. Maj. Holcomb seamless,” Mercer said. “He is the right noncommissioned officer for the job and will be a real asset to the team in this new role.”
Holcomb enlisted in the Virginia Army National Guard on April 5, 1982. He has held a variety of leadership and staff positions including first sergeant for B Company, 229th Engineer Battalion and command sergeant major for the 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and command sergeant major for Joint Area Support Group-Central (Provisional) in Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is a member of the prestigious Sergeant Audie Murphy Club and a recipient of the U. S. Army Engineer Association’s Bronze de Fleury Medal.
“It has been my honor to have worked with Command Sgt. Maj. Holcomb over the last 25 years, since Staff Sgt. Holcomb and Capt. Mercer were a team,” Mercer said. “He has served with distinction for more than three decades and has clearly made a huge impact on the readiness and professionalism of the Virginia Army National Guard. He has always been a leader who leads from the front and takes care of people, while also having the moral courage to do the right thing always. His retirement is a loss to the organization but we wish him and Margie the very best as they transition to this new phase in life.”