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FOR RELEASE: Sunday, Mar 29, 2009

New York Army National Guard Picks Top Soldiers

The New York Army National Guard selected its three finest Soldiers after a demanding weekend competition for Soldier and Non-commissioned Officer of the Year, March 29, at the Joint Forces Headquarters in Latham. Staff Sgt Morgan Cady, of Booneville, Lewis County, a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 104th Military Police Battalion competed and won the Traditional Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year. Specialist Sebastian McClendon, of New York City, and a member of Company A, 1st Battalion 69th Infantry was selected as the Traditional Soldier of the Year. Staff Sgt Tiffany Streit, of Albany, and a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade is the Active Guard Reserve NCO of the Year award. Traditional Guard Soldiers perform their duties on a part time basis, spending one weekend a month and two weeks a year to serve their country, while an Active Guard and Reserve Soldier serves on a fulltime basis, mainly in administrative functions. These Soldiers were chosen based on breadth and depth of knowledge of numerous subjects during both a written test and a board appearance. These subjects included military leadership, history and justice, security and intelligence, weapons and warrior tasks which included first aid, field sanitation and land navigation. “We are getting more diversified Soldiers who are more prepared, and I truly believe we have a good chance of winning the regional event,” said New York Army National Guard Command Sergeant Major Robert Van Pelt. “It’s nice to know that they felt I was worthy of the Soldier of the Year title, it shows how far females have come in today’s army when we are not only selected but can actually win,” Streit said. The jam-packed weekend of evaluation included an Army physical fitness test followed by hands-on performance tests in voice communications, first aid on an open head wound, identifying terrain features on a map, performing a functions check on an MK 19 machine gun and performing the placement of a claymore mine, while wearing full battle gear and protective mask. “During the Board I kept visually looking back at the study guide in my head when I was being asked the questions and at the same time trying to keep my bearing and make sure I didn’t twitch and move around and show how nervous I really was,” Cady said. Their afternoon consisted of a land navigation and map exercise, reciting the NCO Creed and ended with a social gathering. Although the get-together is an opportunity for Soldiers to interact with each other, it allows the candidates conduct and behavior to be evaluated in a formal setting. “I like winning, I have a huge amount still to learn and most of all it’s an honor to be part of history, with the 69th and other Soldiers of the Year representatives that came before and will come after,” McClendon said. “I strongly encourage our leadership at all levels to identify our brightest and talented Soldiers, by nominating them for Soldier and NCO of the Year they demonstrate their confidence in their abilities and it helps build espirit de corps within the National Guard,” Van Pelt said. By Sgt Christopher Connelly, 42nd Infantry Division Photo Cutline: Top New York Army National Guard Soldiers for 2009 are, from left, Specialist Sebastian McClendon Company A, 1st Battalion 69th Infantry, Traditional Soldier of the Year; Staff Sgt Tiffany Streit,Headquarters and Headquarters Company 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade ,Active Guard Reserve NCO of the Year; and Staff Sgt Morgan Cady,Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment 104th Military Police Battalion,Traditional Non-Commissioned Officer Of the Year.

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© NYS DMNA Press Release:New York Army National Guard Picks Top Soldiers
URL: http://dmna.ny.gov/pressroom/?id=1238349317
Page Last Modified: Mar 29, 2009