News: SD Guard Civil Support Team receives Superior Unit Award
Story by 2nd Lt. Chad Carlson
RAPID CITY, S.D. - The South Dakota Army National Guard’s 82nd Civil Support Team, located at Ellsworth Air Force Base, became the first civil support team in the nation to receive the National Guard Bureau’s Superior Unit Award.
The award is presented in recognition of outstanding achievement in three categories of criteria: personnel, training and inspections.
Some of the 82nd’s achievements from these categories include: maintaining an assigned strength of 95 percent each month, 95 percent of the unit is Duty Military Occupation Skills Qualified, and a Mission Essential Task List assessment well above the 75 percent requirement.
“Anytime a unit gets an award like this it reflects the dedication and training program of the unit that gets us to that point,” said Lt. Col. James Selchert, 82nd CST commander. “It really speaks to the quality of our non-commissioned officers, as they are in charge of the training. They ensure everyone from the commander on down receives quality training.”
All members of the CST were also a first-time-go on the Army Physical Fitness Test and Air Force Fitness Assessment, and the unit received a 99 percent on the NGB Standardization Evaluation and Assistance Team inspection, placing the unit in the top 10 of all CSTs nationwide.
“Everyone in the unit is high-speed, top-notch,” said 1st Sgt. Michael Weyrich. “Everyone in the unit excels at physical fitness, accountability and maintenance of equipment, and training to standard, because this is what our senior NCOs expect.”
The commander said the award is the result of a consolidated team effort, from both the soldiers and airmen that make up the unit.
“Obviously you don’t get an award like this because of one or two people; it is the entire unit,” Selchert said. “It comes down to the NCOs in the unit that ensure we train on our warrior tasks to standard. We approach our hazardous materials training with the same due diligence that we approach our warrior tasks.”
“We have a strict training guidance from higher command, from NGB down to the 109th Regional Support Group and we follow it,” said Weyrich. “We don’t deviate and ensure that we are proficient in both our garrison and hazardous material jobs. We follow our standard operating guidance to ensure our training reflects what we would do in our ‘real world’ actions.”