Virginia National Guard recognizes top units

Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, presents the Eisenhower Trophy to Capt. Hiram A. Centeno Justiniano, commander of Headquarters Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group, during the Virginia National Guard Officer's Association Conference held April 20, 2013, in Richmond. The Eisenhower Trophy recognizes the most outstanding company-level unit in the Virginia Army National Guard during the training year and is presented to the unit that ranks the highest in areas of assigned personnel strength, percentage of personnel qualified in their duty position, attendance at monthly drill weekends and annual training, individual weapons qualification scores and physical fitness test scores. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia Department of Military Affairs)

Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, presents the Eisenhower Trophy to Capt. Hiram A. Centeno Justiniano, commander of Headquarters Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group, during the Virginia National Guard Officer’s Association Conference held April 20, 2013, in Richmond. The Eisenhower Trophy recognizes the most outstanding company-level unit in the Virginia Army National Guard during the training year and is presented to the unit that ranks the highest in areas of assigned personnel strength, percentage of personnel qualified in their duty position, attendance at monthly drill weekends and annual training, individual weapons qualification scores and physical fitness test scores. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia Department of Military Affairs)

RICHMOND, Va. — Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, recognized the Headquarters Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group, as the top company-level unit in the Virginia Army National Guard during the Virginia National Guard Officer’s Association Conference held April 20, 2013, in Richmond. He also presented the Virginia Excellence in Training Award, National Guard Bureau Superior Unit Award and Pershing Trophy to recognize other top-performing company level units.

Long also announced that two Virginia National Guard battalions have been recognized as the best in the nation by the National Guard Association and the Association of the United States Army. The Lynchburg-based 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team has been named the Walter T. Kerwin Readiness Award winner for the 2012 training year by AUSA and is named the most combat ready battalion in the country, and the Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion has been named the Milton A. Reckord Award winner for the 2012 training year by NGAUS. National Guard Bureau notified Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, of the selections in a memorandum dated March 1, 2013.

“I continue to be very impressed by the hard work that goes into the high state of readiness maintained by the Virginia National Guard, and I am proud to see so many units recognized for training excellence,” said Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Marla Graff Decker. “The national-level recognition of two of our battalions is just another example of how the Virginia Guard ranks among the best in the country, and it should inspire further confidence in the Guard’s already well-earned reputation that we can count on them to rapidly respond and to assist citizens of the Commonwealth when called to duty by the Governor. Our Guard continues to demonstrate its tremendous capabilities to support domestic operations as well as its federal mission of military operations around the world.”

Long presented Capt. Hiram A. Centeno Justiniano, commander of Headquarters Company, with both the Eisenhower Trophy and Adjutant General’s Cup, and Virginia Deputy Secretary of Public Safety Brian R. Swann presented two Certificates of Recognition signed by Governor Bob McDonnell.

Long recognized the Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Suport Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group for marksmanship excellence and presented Capt. John Hinton, commander of the 229th, with the state-level state-level Pershing Award for the highest marksmanship scores in the Virginia Army National Guard in annual qualification with assigned individual weapons. The 229th also earned the national-level Pershing Award.

The Eisenhower Trophy recognizes the most outstanding company-level unit in the Virginia Army National Guard during the training year and is presented to the unit that ranks the highest in areas of assigned personnel strength, percentage of personnel qualified in their duty position, attendance at monthly drill weekends and annual training, individual weapons qualification scores and physical fitness test scores.

The Adjutant General’s Cup is awarded to the company-level unit achieving the highest overall average in the areas of overall assigned personnel strength, attendance at monthly drill weekends and attendance at annual training.

To earn the Excellence in Training Award, a unit must have 90 percent of all personnel qualified in their military occupational speciality, have 95 percent of all personnel present for annual training or receive constructive credit for AT attendance, maintain monthly drill attendance of 90 percent, have 95 percent of all assigned personnel qualify with their assigned weapon, have 95 percent of all crews qualify on their assigned crew-served weapons, have 90 percent of all assigned personnel pass the Army Physical Fitness Test and pass the Organizational Inspection Program in all training categories. Long presented awards to the Virginia Beach-based Headquarters Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion; Blackstone-based 3647th Maintenance Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion; the Gate City-based Headquarters Company, 1030th Transportation Battalion; the Martinsville-based 1173rd Transportation Company, 1030th Transportation Battalion; the Lynchburg-based Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment and the Christiansburg-based Company C, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment.

To earn the Superior Unit Award, a unit must maintain an assigned strength of 95 percent of authorized each month of the training year for which being nominated, maintain monthly drill attendance of 95 percent, attain annual training attendance of 95 percent, have 95 percent of all assigned personnel qualify with their assigned weapon and have 90 percent of all assigned personnel pass the Army Physical Fitness Test. Long presented the award to the Virginia Beach-based Headquarters Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion; the Emporia-based 1710 Transportation Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion; the Blackstone-based 3647th Maintenance Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion; the Martinsville-based 1173rd Transportation Company, 1030th Transportation Battalion; the Lynchburg-based Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment; the Christiansburg-based Company C, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment; the Pulaski-based Company D, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment and the Danville-based Headquarters Company, 429th Brigade Support Battalion.

For the Milton A. Reckord Award, the battalion must have demonstrated superior performance in the areas of personnel strength, retention, duty MOS qualification, individual and crew served weapons qualification, the Army Physical Fitness Test, drill weekend attendance and annual training attendance. The battalion, along with its organic units, must have demonstrated a commitment to the welfare of its members and their families and to its communities during the training year for which being nominated.

The National Guard Association, the Association of the United States Army, and the Reserve Officers Association of the United States present the Walter T. Kerwin Readiness Award jointly to the Army National Guard unit with the highest level of readiness in the country. The Chief of National Guard Bureau selects the Army National Guard winner.

Evaluation criteria for the Kerwin include the areas of assigned personnel strength, percentage of personnel qualified in their duty position, attendance at monthly drill weekends and annual training, individual weapons qualification scores and physical fitness test scores. Battalions also must have an effective maintenance program for all units and must achieve readiness objectives as outlined by U.S. Forces Command.

The Kerwin award was named for retired Gen. Walter T. Kerwin, Jr., who served as the first commander of United States Forces Command and also as Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from 1974 to 1978. Kerwin was a strong advocate of the “One Army,” or “Total Army,” concept that recognized the important role of the National Guard and U. S. Army Reserve. The plans and programs he set in motion resulted in a significant improvement in the readiness of reserve components.

Milton A. Reckord commanded the 115th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division during World War I and was appointed Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard in 1920. In 1934, while still serving as Maryland’s Adjutant General, he assumed command of the 29th Infantry Division. After World War II, Reckord returned to his post as the Adjutant General of Maryland and continued to serve as Adjutant General until his retirement in 1966. During the years between the First and Second World War, Reckord was a leading advocate for increasing the role of the National Guard in the United States’ national defensive strategy. In 1933, he authored legislation that permanently gave National Guard personnel status as both state and federal troops.

The Reckord Award will be presented at the AGAUS Conference in August and the Kerwin Award will be presented at the AUSA Conference in October.

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Photos: Top Va. Army Guard unit recognized
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157633301136269/

Photos: Va. Guard units recognized for training excellence
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Photos: General Assembly commends Va. National Guard
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