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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 15, 2024


Promotional ceremonies were held Thursday at Government House on St. Thomas for V.I. National Guard Brig. Gen. Cleave Antonio McBean, the man the governor has tapped to replace retiring Adj. Gen. Jean Romney.
McBean's promotion came a day before he was slated to take over command of 900 soldiers and airman who make up the V.I. National Guard and Air National Guard.
In the brief ceremony attended by family, friends, well-wishers and fellow guardsmen, McBean's accomplished career in the military was highlighted as he was pinned with the brigadier general's single star.
McBean credited many persons along the way who helped him achieve success in his more than 29 years of military service. "There were General Rudy Francis, General Robert Moorhead, Al Heath and others that have contributed to my development," he said, adding, "I didn't arrive at this juncture by myself."
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull hailed McBean's accomplishments, describing him as the best qualified person for the job.
"I remember General McBean as a student at Charlotte Amalie High School when I was a teacher," Turnbull said. "He was always a hardworking, diligent and courteous person."
The governor also paid tribute to the late Gov. Melvin Evans, the territory's first elected governor, who, despite opposition and criticism, moved forward with the formation of the V.I. National Guard.
"He is to be credited for what was a difficult decision at that time," Turnbull said. "The V.I. National Guard has done us proud."
McBean's military assignments have included signal platoon leader, signal detachment leader, operation and training officer, battalion training officer, personnel officer, field service company commander, assistant commandant and senior instructor at the V.I. National Guard Academy, battalion executive officer, supply and service battalion commander, plans operations and military support officer, and deputy territorial area commander of the V.I. Army National Guard.
Romney, who was in attendance, spoke of what he considered the high point of his career. "My ascending to the position of adjutant general was perhaps the highlight of my career. But it did not come without hard work and dedication, qualities that were instilled in me when I joined the Army one year after graduating from high school," Romney said.
Change of command ceremonies will be held Friday in St. Croix, presided over by Romney, Turnbull and McBean.
Traditionally, a change of command was signaled by the outgoing commander passing the unit's flag to the officer assuming the command. This public gesture provided witness Thursday to the soldiers that their new leader was assuming the leadership position.

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