News: First Sgt. James Meltz of Cropseyville Receives George Van Cleave Military Leadership Award
NEW YORK, N.Y -- New York Army National Guard 1st Sgt. James Meltz, a New York State Trooper from Cropseyville, N.Y., received the USO of Metropolitan New York's Prestigious George Van Cleave Military Leadership Award at the organization's Annual Armed Forces Gala & Gold Medal Dinner, Wednesday, Dec. 9, in Manhattan.
Meltz, a member of the New York State Police Special Operations Response Team, has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan with 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry. He received the Bronze Star for Valor for his actions in Iraq in 2008 while serving as first sergeant of D Co. 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry.
After his company was ambushed he rescued Soldiers from a burning humvee, returned fire with a machinegun, and then continually exposed himself to the enemy as he assisted the company commander in organizing a successful resistance and counterattack. Meltz served on Active Duty and in the Army Reserve before joining the New York Army National Guard in 2003.
This is the second year in a row in which the New York Army National Guard has represented the Army in receiving the prestigious award, which is presented to one member of each armed service annually.
In 2008 the award went to 1st Sgt. Troy Steward of Buffalo, a member of 2nd Battalion 101st Cavalry, who also served in Afghanistan.