Being recognized by fellow Soldiers or unit leadership for a job well done often does wonders for troop morale. If an entire company is singled out for exemplary service, however, by no less an authority than the Department of the Army, it’s often a good indicator that proficiency and excellence are prevalent throughout the parent organization, in this case the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command.
Soldiers from Alpha Battery, 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment were recognized in late July with a 2011 DA Deployment Excellence award for their performance throughout their Patriot to Poland exercise in June 2011.
“Their attention to detail and doing the right thing at the right time led them to being recognized,” said U.S. Army Maj. Lawrence Hicks, the executive officer for 5-7 ADA.
The annual Army-wide award is bestowed upon the company or battery-sized element that best shows overall deployment readiness, as it pertains to managing resources, meeting timelines, and following safety guidelines, among other relevant factors.
“It recognizes their hard work in supporting theater security operations,” Hicks said.
Aaron Burr, a logistics management specialist with the sustainment assistance review team for U.S. Army Europe, said units have to meet demanding criteria to even be considered for the award, let alone selected.
“The competition at the DA level is tough,” said Burr, noting that 25 other units across the force were nominated. Soldiers never knew they were being evaluated during the process, helping judges better determine the true readiness of units up for the award.
“We submitted an application last year in December and found out this March that
we were a USAREUR semifinalist. In May, we learned that we finished second Army wide,” said 1st Lt. Adam Duby, executive officer for Alpha Battery.
And while it might be tempting for some Soldiers or units to grow comfortable or get complacent after receiving such a prestigious award, many in the unit see it as a springboard for even greater things to come.
“Winning the award is an honor, but it also sets the standard of excellence for the future,” he said.