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    3ID NCO of the year throws first pitch for Savannah Sand Gnats

    3ID NCO of the Year throws first pitch for Savannah Sand Gnats

    Photo By Sgt. Joshua Laidacker | Sgt. Zachary Cline, an infantryman with 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th...... read more read more

    SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Savannah Sand Gnats have been a part of Savannah since just before the Great Depression, even before 3rd Infantry Division became a part of Savannah in 1940, but those two historic groups came together April 16, 2015, for a special occasion.

    Sgt. Zachary Cline, an infantryman with 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, earned the title of 3rd ID's noncommissioned officer or NCO, of the year, and in recognition of his hard work, the Savannah Sand Gnats asked that he throw their first pitch of the season at Grayson Stadium.

    "The 3rd Infantry Division is so storied, you have all these great NCO's, people that I think would be a much better NCO of the year than I am, people that I look up to, and to represent them is an honor," said Cline, who serves as a team leader with Troop C, 6-8 Cav.

    Cline wasn't alone in the honor though, Savannah Mayor Pro Tem Van R. Johnson II also had a shot at the first pitch for the South Atlantic League baseball team and thought it was important to have representatives from 3rd ID as well.

    "The Sand Gnats are representative of Savannah, they are Savannah, and we wanted to be here and welcome them home and kick off what we think is going to be a great season," said Johnson. "Obviously for us, the military is also synonymous with Savannah."

    In addition to Cline throwing the first pitch, the 3rd ID Band, the Rhythm of the Marne, and the 3rd ID color guard also participated in the game’s opening ceremonies.
    "I think it's critical that the people, specifically in the community in which we live, see us out there face to face," said Cline. "We do serve the American people and for them to put a face to the uniform is a good thing."

    "We are home of veterans so I think it's a great opportunity to welcome and thank our veterans for their service and what they contribute to our city, and he throws a pretty mean ball too," Johnson jested.

    Cline said Johnson threw a better ball than he did but the Mayor Pro Tem, who said he played baseball competitively in the past, admitted the advantage had to do with experience and that his confidence in Cline lied with more pertinent tasks to his position in the military.

    "We don't need him for balls, we need him for protecting our country and protecting our interests in theatres around the world and that's what he does," said Johnson. "I wouldn't want to get against him in combat."

    Cline was all smiles during the event which many soldiers from 6-8 Cav. attended and said he felt he was very well received with many thanking him for his service during his time at the stadium.

    "It was nice to be able to represent the division at the community outreach events and get some contact with the American people that we serve," said Cline. "I had a lot of fun."

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 04.16.2015
    Date Posted: 04.20.2015 15:00
    Story ID: 160568
    Location: SAVANNAH, GA, US 

    Web Views: 85
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    3ID NCO of the year throws first pitch for Savannah Sand Gnats