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The Strength of our Soldiers

October 28, 2010 | Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Hodne

On Monday, 25 Oct 2010, I had the privilege of attending the Sergeant Major of the Army Luncheon on the first day of the AUSA Convention and sharing the company of a group of the best NCOs and Soldiers in our Army.  24 of these distinguished NCOs and Soldiers recently completed the demanding Best Warrior Competition at Fort Lee, VA, which served as the final gate in their journey to earn the prestigious title of NCO and Soldier of the Year.  I also had the honor of sitting with SSG Russell Kojo, TRADOC NCO of the Year (ROTC Instructor at Cal-Berkeley), and SGT Sherri Gallagher, TRADOC Soldier of the Year (Service Rifle Shooter/Instructor at the US Army Marksmanship Unit).  They, as all of the other candidates, had unique Army stories to share.  For SSG Kojo, he serves as a trainer and mentor to numerous ROTC cadets. The impressions that he has made and will continue to make on our future Army Officers will undoubtedly remain with them for the rest of their Army careers, if not the rest of their lives.  He is simply that impressive as a Non-commissioned Officer.   For SGT Gallagher, she earned the distinct honor of being named 2010 Army Soldier of the Year.  I speak on behalf of the entire unit when I say that we could not be more proud.  She represents the Army to thousands of Americans -  In addition to being a tremendous Soldier who exemplifies the Army Values, she is this year's High Power Rifle National Champion (only one other woman in the country can say that...her mom), she holds other National titles, and she has set numerous national records in competitive shooting - She is a true Champion.  In this regard, she plays a unique role for the Army, that of connecting America's Army to America's people.   Congratulations to all of the NCOs and Soldiers who proudly represented their commands during this year's Best Warrior Competition and  congratulations SGT Gallagher.  Well done.  ARMY STRONG!

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