On 28 April 2023, Chief Warrant Officer 5 William DeLong of the CECOM Integrated Logistics Support Center was honored during a promotion ceremony at the Mallette Training Facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.
Over 100 family members, friends, colleagues, and distinguished guests turned out in person to celebrate Chief DeLong, braving dreary weather to offer their support and congratulations, with many others viewing the ceremony on Microsoft Teams. With this promotion, Chief DeLong now resides among a select few officers which army.mil describes as “master-level technical and tactical experts that support brigade, division, corps, echelons above corps, and major command operations.”
Lt. Gen. Douglas A. Sims presided over the ceremony by offering opening remarks to introduce Chief DeLong and later administering the oath of office to him. Lt. Gen. Sims, who had come directly from the Pentagon and was visiting Aberdeen Proving Ground for the first time, touched on the focal points of service and sacrifice during his remarks. He indicated that the four overseas service bars on Chief DeLong’s arm not only signify two years spent deployed (six months per bar), but how those bars also mark the passage of time away from his family who made a sacrifice so that he was able to accomplish his mission. It is a sacrifice that has been rewarded, and Chief DeLong’s family deserves full credit for their commitment to our country.
Lt. Gen. Sims also noted the magnitude of such an achievement, pointing out that only 0.11% of the Army attains the rank of CW5. Having served with Chief DeLong in Iraq and Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Sims was well-positioned to speak firsthand about Chief DeLong’s character, saying “He chose to give a great deal of his life to his country. He has provided extraordinary service as an enlisted officer and as a warrant officer.”
Chief DeLong presented flowers and special gifts to family members, in appreciation of their support during his time serving the Army. He thanked his loved ones for keeping him grounded during his career and playing an instrumental part in what was most assuredly a group effort to arrive at this position. Having passed the 25-year mark of service to the U.S. Army in January of this year, Chief DeLong expressed supreme gratitude to Lt. Gen. Sims and others who have served along with him during his long journey.
After spending nine years as an enlisted soldier, Chief DeLong made the decision to become a technical expert in the communications field. Years later, his work and persistence has culminated in this promotion to the rank of CW5, where he will be expected, according to army.mil, to “provide leader development, mentorship, advice, and counsel to warrant officers and branch officers.”
Speaking to his three daughters, but also in a larger capacity to all those in attendance, Chief DeLong passed along words of wisdom from his mother, “You are better than no one, but no one is better than you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something”.
The ceremony concluded with the singing of The Army Goes Rolling Along and the departure of the official party, and Chief DeLong was further feted with a reception that followed immediately after. Among those in attendance was ILSC Acting Executive Director Mr. Medhat Abuhantash, who said of Chief DeLong, “It was a rare treat to see such an exceptional warrant officer reach such a distinguished rank. His promotion is incredibly well deserved, and I am confident that he will continue to do amazing things for the Army.”
On a rainy Friday afternoon at Aberdeen Proving Ground, seemingly the most inauspicious of days, Chief William DeLong reached a pinnacle that very few ever do. CECOM ILSC is immensely proud of him and his family for such a momentous accomplishment.