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Ordinary Americans doing the extraordinary. Winning soldiers honored at Friday ceremony
Sierra Vista Herald ^ | Bill Hess

Posted on 06/15/2014 10:42:21 AM PDT by SandRat

FORT HUACHUCA — Two soldiers were recognized as the top enlisted GIs for the Network Enterprise Technology Command, the day before the Army celebrated its 239th birthday.

For Brig. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., Friday morning’s ceremony highlighting the naming of the command’s Noncommissioned Officer of the Year (NCOY) and Soldier of the Year (SOY) is an extension of what the Army has provided the nation through dedicated service, even before the nation declared its independence in 1776. The Army was established on June 14, 1775.

Chosen as the NCOY was Staff Sgt. Jose Mosquera, representing the 5th Signal Command (Theater) in Germany and the SOY is Spc. Cole Spoon who represented the 160th Signal Brigade in Kuwait.

Morrison, who heads the Network Enterprise Technology Command, said, “For 239 years our Army has answered our nation’s call to duty and today, it is the greatest Army the world has ever known.”

From Bunker Hill during the American Revolution to the hills of Afghanistan of today, the Army, which is made up “of ordinary Americans who when called upon to serve do extraordinary things.,” he said.

What makes America’s Army great is “it is uniquely American and sets the example for not only our nation but for all free peoples of the world,” the general said.

And, Mosquera and Spoon are two of the dedicated soldiers who, as citizens, have stepped up to serve the entire country, Morrison said.

NETCOM’s senior NCO, Command Sgt. Maj. Milton Weatherly said the competitors spend much of this week “pushing themselves mentally and physically” in the competition’s many tests but, he noted reaching NETCOM level began last year at the company, battalion brigade and command levels.

Talking directly to the five NCO and four soldier competitors — one soldier could not finish the competition as she had a medical issue which had to be addressed — Weatherly said, “If I can say anything what you did this week it is it was phenomenal.”

First, the five NCOs were called up and when the stood in the front of the Greely Hall auditorium, the announcement Mosquera was named NCOY, was greeted with loud applause and the same was true when Spoon’s name was called out as NETCOM’s SOY.

Mosquera was also honored for writing the best composition on resiliency. The Iron Man award for having the best PT scores went to SOY competitor Pfc. Andrew Lee, representing the 311 Signal Command (Theater) in the Pacific area.

After the ceremony, Mosquera, a nine-year Army veteran, told the Herald/Review the most difficult parts were the high altitude of Fort Huachuca and the heat.

“It put a lot of stress into the competition,” the 27-year-old satellite communications operator from Woodbridge, Va., said.

Spoon, 27 and a five-year Army veteran, said the physical pace over the three day period was the hardest.

“It was physically demanding, one event after the other,” said the the microwave systems operator and and installer, who calls Evans Ga., home.

Morrison, who spoke with all the competitors after the ceremony ended, said he told them “to be proud of what they did” and to recognize “what they are going to do for our Army in the future.”

While the morning ceremony was one applauding the NCOY and SOY competitors, an afternoon event celebrated four Signal Corps soldiers, who were honored having plaques put into the NETCOM Signal Cove of Remembrance.

During the morning event, Morrison said, “This afternoon, we will humbly recognize four of ordinary Americans who gave so much for their country — their very lives.”

Enshrined were:

• Spc. Hilda Clayton, 22, with the 55th Signal Company, who died on July 2, 2013, in Afghanistan.

• Staff Sgt. Lyle D. Turnbull, with the 62nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, who died on Oct. 18, 2013, in Kuwait.

• Pfc.Joshua A. Gray, 21, with the 10th Division, who died Feb. 10, 2014, in Afghanistan.

• Spc. Hernaldo Beltran Jr., 24, who died April 22, 2014, while deployed to Guatemala.

As Morrison noted earlier in his morning speech it is the soldiers of today and those of the past who are part of “the magnificent Army we serve in … bonded by an uncanny commitment to our nation and the principles of freedom and democracy contained within our Constitution.”

Other competitors in the NETCOM NCOY and SOY competitions were:

• NCOY — Staff Sgt. Frankie Williams representing the 311th Signal command (Theater), Sgt. Edilberto Ramos representing the 7th Signal command (Theater), Staff Sgt. John Mitchell representing the 160th Signal Brigade and Staff Sgt. Mario Saucedo representing NETCOM Headquarters.

• SOY — Cpl. Kyle Craig representing 5th Signal Command (Theater), Sgt. Samantha DuBuis representing the 7th Signal Command (Theater) and Staff Sgt. John Mitchell representing the 160th Signal Brigade.

All received an Army Commendation Medal. The NCOY and SOY will be presented their awards at the completion of the U.S. Forces Command competition in August.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: fthuachuca
1 posted on 06/15/2014 10:42:21 AM PDT by SandRat
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