By Master Sgt. Jeff Lowry
| Indiana National Guard | Dec. 22, 2020
Indiana National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 5 Ronald L. Baird Jr. receives his new rank from his wife, Jamie, and their daughter Savannah during a promotion ceremony at Stout Field in Indianapolis, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. "The Indiana National Guard has been a major part of my life for 33 years. The soldiers that I've met and worked alongside have truly played a strong role in my professional development," Baird said during his speech. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Ramon Baty, released (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Ramon Baty)
The Indiana National Guard's state command chief warrant officer ascended to the top of the warrant officer ranks during a promotion ceremony at the Guard's headquarters.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Ronald L. Baird Jr., of Scottsburg and a Louisville, Kentucky native, received his new rank from his wife, Jamie, and his daughter, Savannah, during the ceremony.
"The Indiana National Guard has been a major part of my life for 33 years. The soldiers that I've met and worked alongside have truly played a strong role in my professional development," Baird said during his speech.
Baird is the state's fifth command chief officer in a position that advises the adjutant general on matters concerning the warrant officer cohort, which numbers approximately 200 soldiers in the Hoosier state.
"Chief Baird is an outstanding, respected and distinguished leader among both Indiana's warrant officer cohort and all of our soldiers and airmen," said Brig. Gen. Dale Lyles, Indiana's adjutant general. "I'm excited he's achieved the top rank of chief warrant officer 5, and proud to have him as an integral part of my command team. He's earned both."
Prior to advising the Indiana National Guard's leader, Baird served as the 38th Infantry Division's senior maintenance officer, and he deployed with approximately 600 soldiers of the 38th to Kuwait as they led Task Force Spartan in the Middle East.
Baird joined the military in April 1987 through the 38th Infantry Division's 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment headquartered in New Albany.
"I wanted serve my state and country," said Baird in a January 2020 release. "I knew at a young age that I wanted to be in the military, and I enjoyed being a mechanic, so I was able to fill both those desires by joining the Indiana National Guard."
Within several years, Baird parlayed his part-time gig of two weeks per year and a weekend per month into a reliable career.
"The last 25 years I've been a full-time federal technician as a mechanic or maintenance supervisor for the Indiana National Guard," said Baird.
During Baird's nearly 34-year military career he's seen many benefits for himself and family from wearing the uniform of the nation.
"Belonging to the Indiana National Guard has benefited my family and me with great opportunities to include kid's camps, social events, travel and even college assistance," said Baird. "The Indiana National Guard is part of my family and my immediate family has embraced the National Guard."
Baird became a warrant officer in February 2002 at Fort Rucker, Alabama, after nearly 15 years serving as an enlisted soldier.
"I decided to become a warrant officer to challenge myself and to serve as a subject-matter expert in the maintenance field by providing technical knowledge to junior soldiers, staff and commanders," said Baird.
Baird earned his bachelor's degree in general studies, technology leadership and management from Roger Williams University in 2011. In 2015 Baird earned a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification from the Indiana Army National Guard.
Baird and his wife live Scottsburg, and they have four children; Dorothy, Ronald, Caleb and Savannah; and three grandsons; Donovan, Malachi and David.