Lynchburg-based infantry battalion receives national training, marksmanship awards

Lt. Gen. Timothy Kadavy, Director of the Army National Guard, and Maj. Gen. Max Haston, the National Guard Association of the United States Vice Chair-Army, present the Reckord Trophy to Lt. Col. Christopher Samulski and Command Sgt. Maj. Irving Reed Sept. 10, 2017, at the NGAUS General Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Jay Way)

SANDSTON, Va. — Lt. Col. Christopher Samulski and Command Sgt. Maj. Irving Reed accepted the Reckord Trophy for training excellence on behalf of the Soldiers of the Lynchburg-based 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Sept. 10, 2017, at the National Guard Association of the United States General Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. NGAUS presents the Reckord Trophy each year to the Army National Guard battalion that achieves the highest state of readiness in the country. The command team for the Bedford-based Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment also accepted the Pershing Plaque for marksmanship excellence.

“This award illustrates a solid training program, planned by outstanding leaders and executed by terrific Soldiers,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “It shows that the units in the Virginia National Guard know what right looks like, and we can compete at the national level. Most importantly, it shows that we are trained and ready to accomplish our state and federal mission, and it sets an example for commitment to high standards that every unit should follow.”

The battalion served on federal active duty conducting security operations in Qatar from May 2016 to April 2017.

“It was an honor to command such an outstanding unit and to accept the Reckord Award on behalf of the officers, NCOs and Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment,” Samulski said. Their continuous hard work and steadfast focus on training has once again made this battalion one of the best in the Army National Guard.”

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 Pershing Plaque is presented to the Army National Guard unit attaining the highest figure of merit during annual qualification firing with assigned individual weapons.

Earlier this year, several 1st Battalion units were recognized for training excellence:

The Christiansburg-based Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment was recognized as the recipient of the Eisenhower Trophy as the top company-level unit in the Virginia Army National Guard. The award 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.

Alpha Company received the state-level National Guard Pershing Trophy and Certificate of Victory for achieving the highest marksmanship scores in the Virginia Army National Guard in annual qualification with assigned individual weapons.

The Lexington-based Bravo Company, Charlie Company and the Lynchburg-based Headquarters Company also received the Virginia Army National Guard Excellence in Training and Superior Unit awards.

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.

To earn the Excellence in Training Award, a unit must have 90 percent of all personnel qualified in their military occupational specialty, 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.

Lt. Gen. Timothy Kadavy, Director of the Army National Guard, and Maj. Gen. Max Haston, the National Guard Association of the United States Vice Chair-Army, present the Pershing Plaque to command team of Bedford-based Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment Sept. 10, 2017, at the NGAUS General Conference in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Jay Way)

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About the Virginia National Guard:

The Virginia National Guard is a unique dual-status force with a federal mission to provide an combat reserve to fight our nation’s wars and a state mission to provide a response force that answers the call of the Governor to defend the commonwealth.

Nearly 1,500 Soldiers and Airmen served on federal active duty in last 18 months, and Virginia Guard units conducted a wide variety of missions including mission command, military-to-military partnership building, security and rotary wing flight operations and maintenance. They join the nearly 15,000 Soldiers and Airmen who have mobilized for homeland security missions, combat operations and peacekeeping and stabilization missions since September 11, 2001.

More than 900 Va. Guard personnel served on state active duty in the last 18 months in response to severe weather events as part of the state’s multi-agency team. Soldiers transported first responders through heavy snow and high water, helped get citizens to safety and used chain saws to help clear debris and open roads after tornadoes and hurricanes. Soldiers, Airmen and Virginia Defense Force members also assisted with mission command, logistics and public information support.