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VING Ceremony Pins Stars on Gen. Elton Lewis

Janice Lewis adjusts the new stars on husband Elton Lewis' jacket.When he walked in the door of Government House Wednesday morning, Elton Lewis was a colonel in the V.I. National Guard. By the time the hour-long ceremony was over, he was a general.

Brig. Gen. Elton Lewis was pinned with the insignia of his new rank during a ceremony that included words of praise from Gov. Jon P. deJongh Jr., Lt. Gov. Gregory Francis and Maj. Gen. Renaldo Rivera, and watched over by more an audience of more than 100, the vast majority of which was in uniform.

The only thing shining brighter than the well-polished shoes of the many soldiers on hand were their smiles, as they watched Lewis’ wife, Janice, and Rivera pin the single star on his collar and the epaulets on his shoulders.

Rivera said it was a special day for the entire V.I. National Guard, the first time it has ever had two federally recognized generals. The message should not be lost on younger members looking to the future, he said.

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"Your opportunity is here," he said. "It’s right there waiting for you."

Born in Frederiksted, Lewis graduated from St. Croix Central High School in 1971 and joined the Guard in September 1976 as an enlisted soldier. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Military Police Corps in 1985 and has held a wide variety of positions serving the territory and the United States.

He has worked as a police officer, rising through the ranks to commissioner of the VIPD and is now director-designee for the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency.

In VING, Lewis recently served as the director of Joint Staff since 2007 and is now assistant adjutant of the Guard, a position he was appointed to on May 1, 2005. As a federal technician employee, he has been director of the V.I. National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters from August 2007 to December 2010.

One of his favorite quotes, from 20th-century evangelist Billy Sunday, is "More men fail through lack of purpose than through lack of talent."

His awards and decorations from more than 30 years of military service include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon.

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Janice Lewis adjusts the new stars on husband Elton Lewis' jacket.When he walked in the door of Government House Wednesday morning, Elton Lewis was a colonel in the V.I. National Guard. By the time the hour-long ceremony was over, he was a general.

Brig. Gen. Elton Lewis was pinned with the insignia of his new rank during a ceremony that included words of praise from Gov. Jon P. deJongh Jr., Lt. Gov. Gregory Francis and Maj. Gen. Renaldo Rivera, and watched over by more an audience of more than 100, the vast majority of which was in uniform.

The only thing shining brighter than the well-polished shoes of the many soldiers on hand were their smiles, as they watched Lewis' wife, Janice, and Rivera pin the single star on his collar and the epaulets on his shoulders.

Rivera said it was a special day for the entire V.I. National Guard, the first time it has ever had two federally recognized generals. The message should not be lost on younger members looking to the future, he said.

"Your opportunity is here," he said. "It's right there waiting for you."

Born in Frederiksted, Lewis graduated from St. Croix Central High School in 1971 and joined the Guard in September 1976 as an enlisted soldier. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Military Police Corps in 1985 and has held a wide variety of positions serving the territory and the United States.

He has worked as a police officer, rising through the ranks to commissioner of the VIPD and is now director-designee for the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency.

In VING, Lewis recently served as the director of Joint Staff since 2007 and is now assistant adjutant of the Guard, a position he was appointed to on May 1, 2005. As a federal technician employee, he has been director of the V.I. National Guard's Joint Force Headquarters from August 2007 to December 2010.

One of his favorite quotes, from 20th-century evangelist Billy Sunday, is "More men fail through lack of purpose than through lack of talent."

His awards and decorations from more than 30 years of military service include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon.