RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Brig. Gen. Ondra Berry, a 32-year veteran of the Nevada Air National Guard, became adjutant general Saturday, September 7, 2019 at a ceremony in Reno. He is the first black person to hold the job in the state’s 154-year history, the guard noted in a statement.
Berry had served as assistant adjutant general. He replaces Brig. Gen. William Burks. Burks served as Nevada's adjutant general since 2009. The adjutant general is the state's highest ranking military officer overseeing more than 4,400 in the Nevada Air and Army National Guards.
"Brig. Gen. Berry has served the state of Nevada and his country with distinction as a member and leader of the Nevada National Guard," Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a statement.
Berry, 60, of Sparks, enlisted in the Nevada Air National Guard in 1986 and was commissioned in 1990. In 2001, he took command of the 152nd Mission Support Flight. He was named the assistant adjutant general, Nevada Air National Guard, in 2015.
"I am honored and humbled to be selected to lead such a fine organization," Berry said. "I live by the motto that, 'to whom much is given, much will be required,' and I am ready to deliver."
Berry, who served 25 years in the Reno Police Department, was named deputy chief of police in 1995. He retired from the department in 2005 as the assistant police chief.
Berry has worked on commissions and boards throughout his career, including United Way and the Truckee Meadows Boys and Girls Club. In 1990, along with now-Washoe County School Board Trustee Angie Taylor, Berry founded the Northern Nevada Black Cultural Awareness Society.
U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, Sparks Mayor Ron Smith and Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam also attended the ceremony.
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