News: Top Notch Brigade Streamer of Excellence Program
Story by Capt. Corey Robertson
AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar – “Any day you can publically recognize soldiers is a great day in the Army,” said Sgt. Maj. Jerry Jacobitz, the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade operations sergeant major.
Sgt. Maj. Jacobitz was referring to the “Top Notch Unit of Excellence Streamer Program” that the forward deployed air defense artillery brigade headquarters has established to recognize excellence within air defense artillery batteries across the Central Command area of responsibility.
The purpose of the streamer program is to instill warfighter readiness by recognizing excellence with a comprehensive and enduring program where each battery and company can participate and is rewarded for excellence.
The program was established and designed with the promise of legacy and continuity throughout each unit’s deployment. As new battalions rotate in and out of theater so do the batteries that man the Patriot sites.
“What we wanted to do was create a legacy program that will endure long after we depart theater and the new forward brigade headquarters can pick-up where we left off,” said Jacobitz.
There are seven unit of excellence steamers that the battery and company elements within the Patriot battalions can compete for; maintenance, physical fitness, good order and discipline, safety, command supply and discipline program, air missile defense readiness and Top Notch Battery.
The Top Notch Battery Streamer can be awarded to only one battery or company within the area of responsibility at any given time. The Air Missile Defense Readiness Streamer is awarded to the best ADA battery in the battalion.
Jacobitz along with multiple senior noncommissioned officers of the Top Notch Brigade planned, established and ultimately instituted the program.
Each streamer has a scoring system with it that allows the units to compete on an even playing field, with no clear advantage or disadvantage.
“What we wanted to do was establish a program that will endure within the theater after our deployment, and being able to recognize the hard work these soldiers are doing in theater is great,” said Jacobitz.
“While the streamer program isn’t new in the Army, this program is new to theater and we are proud to have been able to institute it.”
The 31st ADA Brigade, out of Fort Sill, Okla. is currently deployed forward in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.