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    Ceremony Honors Exemplary National Guard Members

    Ceremony Honors Exemplary National Guard Members

    Photo By Sgt. Jarod Dye | Governor Paul LePage walks into the room after being introduced as a guest speaker at...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Jarod Dye 

    121st Public Affairs Detachment

    The 2017 State Outstanding Airman and Best Warrior of the Year Ceremony was held Sunday at the Blaine House in Augusta and included guest speaker, Governor Paul LePage.
    “It’s important to have days like today so that the best of the best can shine out and encourage everyone to do their very best,” said LePage, “you are why we are a free nation.”
    Two soldiers and six airmen were recognized and received various awards.
    Soldiers recognized as soldier and noncommissioned officer of the year received that title by winning the state level of the Best Warrior Competition, which was a three day lineup of grueling military tasks and tests.
    “Getting recognized as the State Soldier of the Year is simply an honor. Every year someone wins, and it’s an honor because I get to put my name in a hat with all those really great soldiers that have done it before,” said Army Spc. Joseph Smith, a combat engineer from the 251st Engineer Company (Sapper), who won the state Best Warrior Competition.
    Spc. Smith recently went on to the Regional Best Warrior Competition and placed second, only trailing the winner by 4 points.
    “It took a lot of time and dedication, fitness training, a lot of studying, and really just putting your head down and preparing for the multifaceted events,” said Spc. Smith.
    The title of NCO of the Year was won by Sgt. Jared Smith from the 488th Military Police Company who competed in the same competition except against other NCOs.
    “I feel very humbled and am very proud of the time I put in to get to this point. It’s always good to see hard work get rewarded,” said Sgt. Smith
    Sgt. Smith is a team leader at the 488th Military Police Company and offered insight on what winning this competition has brought to his unit.
    “Anytime you win an individual award in the military, it’s usually based on a collective effort of those leaders who trained you, the other soldiers who have trained with you and helped turn you into the soldier you are. So, I think, anytime you win and individual award it’s similar to winning an award for your entire unit,” said Sgt. Smith.
    The event was part of an increasing effort to have more joint operations and events between the Air and Army National Guard.
    “Cross talking between the two organizations is very helpful, the Air Force has security forces, we have MP’s (Military Police), and they do a similar job,” said State Command Sgt. Maj. Scott M. Doyon. “This will make our people better. The Air gets different training than the Army gets and the Army gets different training than the Air, they can cross talk and actually be more effective,”
    As the State Command Sergeant Major, Doyon oversees Army National Guard soldiers and provides support to the National Guard Command staff.

    However, senior personnel are not the only ones looking forward to more joint training, “It’s great to see that we’re starting to work with individuals and other branches, they have a lot of skills that we can benefit from and vice versa,” said Spc. Smith, “It’s an overall win for the entire state.”



    Date Taken: 05.07.2017
    Date Posted: 05.07.2017 18:30
    Story ID: 232931
    Location: AUGUSTA, ME, US 
    Hometown: AUGUSTA, ME, US
    Hometown: BANGOR, ME, US

    Web Views: 119
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    Ceremony Honors Exemplary National Guard Members