TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Two men with more than 70 years of service between them are headed into the Museum of the Kansas National Guard's Hall of Fame.
The Museum will host an induction ceremony for retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Steven D. Evans and retired Command Sgt. Maj. George E. Stevens 2 pm Sunday, Nov. 6, at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center, 420 E. 6th Street, Topeka.
Past Hall of Fame inductees range from soldiers who served in the Civil War and on the Western Front to more recent members who battled in Vietnam.
Information on this year's inductees:
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Steven D. Evans
Retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Steven D. Evans devoted more than three decades of outstanding and dedicated service to his nation, the state of Kansas and the Kansas Army National Guard. He built his military career around his love for music and the care and training of members of the 42nd and the 35th Division Bands of the Kansas Army National Guard.
During this period, he worked as a band director for the Olathe, Kan., school district. He has conducted music groups performing in 14 states and six foreign nations, appearing before the president, vice-president, six governors and three foreign heads of state.
Evans entered the military in the 40th Army Band of the Mississippi Army National Guard on April 25, 1963. After Basic Combat Training, he was assigned to the Post Band, 60th United States Army Band, Fort Polk, La. Later in his military career he served in the 47th Army Band, Minnesota Army National Guard; the 1st Battalion, 156th Brigade; and the 31st Infantry Division of the Louisiana Army National Guard before joining the Kansas Army National Guard’s 42nd Army Band.
In 1984, he became the conductor of the band and in 1984 he became the bandmaster and commander of the 42nd, followed by the 35th Division Band for 17 more years.
Under Evans’ leadership, additional band members were recruited that shared his vision of a quality organization. The band doubled in size in 1984 and by 1987 it was at 100 percent authorized strength. The band was selected for missions in Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and Ecuador.
Evans continues to dedicate a tremendous amount of time to civic and community organizations. One of his favorites is to teach radio communications in amateur radio clubs. As a current resident of Florida, his experience with radio communications proved invaluable to the communities experiencing the devastation from hurricanes Ivan and Katrina. Evans serves his community in his retirement by supporting civic, church and amateur radio operations for disasters.
Command Sgt. Maj. George E. Stevens
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. George E. Steven’s outstanding and dedicated service to the Kansas Army National Guard spans more than 40 years and continues today as he serves as a scout for the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. It began when he enlisted in the Kansas Army National Guard in 1965. He has served in field units his entire career and in 1988 he was promoted to the rank of sergeant major.
He has served as command sergeant major for the 1st Battalion, 161 Field Artillery; the 35th Division Artillery; and the 287th Sustainment Brigade. During a deployment to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2003, Stevens served as command sergeant major for Joint Military Affairs as part of the 35th Infantry Division’s peacekeeping mission.
In 1991, he led in the organization of the 18th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, a unit of the Kansas Militia, a volunteer organization dedicated to preserving this important history of the Kansas military. He served as the regiment’s command sergeant major since it was chartered. During the 150th anniversary celebration of the Kansas National Guard, he appeared in a replicated 18th Cavalry uniform at a community presentation of a framed Heritage Print of the “Battle of Prairie Dog Creek” to the city library in Long Island, Kan.
In his community, he has been a member of the Pratt Fire Department for 40 years and serves as the assistant chief. In addition to these responsibilities, he built the announcers’ booth at the Pratt Sixth Street Ball Park, served as fund-raising co-chair for a new flag pole at the Pratt High School football field, as well as installing it and a new flag.
He serves as the coordinator of the community’s Independence Day celebration, organized at his own expense. Stevens is the vice-chairman and special projects coordinator of the B-29 museum and the All Veterans Memorial at the Pratt Industrial Airport. He has also been instrumental in partnering with the museum of the Kansas National Guard by securing and displaying aviation art. He holds membership in the American Legion, Patriot Guard, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Pratt Rifle and Pistol Association, Enlisted Association of the Kansas National Guard and many other community organizations.