Senior aviation NCO brought Soldier experience to AMRDEC
April 8, 2013
By Ryan Keith
Days prior to leaving Redstone Arsenal, for a new assignment in the Republic of Korea, Sgt. 1st Class John Herring was promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant. The promotion from E-7 to E-8 reflects a successful 16+ year career, which most recently included the role of Senior Enlisted Advisor for the U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center.
Col. Jeff Mockensturm, the Deputy Director at AMRDEC, noted "Military promotions, they're a measure of past performance, they look at what you did in the past, but they're really a statement about the Army's expectations for the future. Master Sgt. Herring will only wear those Master Sergeant stripes for a week or so. As soon as he lands in Korea he'll pull those off and put a diamond in the middle, the diamond of a First Sergeant."
As the Senior Enlisted Advisor to AMRDEC, Herring was instrumental in establishing the Center's Current Operations Cell; a group designed to foster innovative research to find solutions and funding for theater priorities and to deliver quality, on-time results and products.
During the ceremony, AMRDEC Director Eric Edwards praised Herring's service over the last three and a half years.
"John was able to bring some tactical relevance and real-world influence to what our Ops Cell is doing; to help us better understand what we as engineers here in this Center mean to that deployed man or woman in uniform over there in harm's way. He's done a lot of great things to help us get that Ops Cell up and running," said Edwards.
While serving at AMRDEC, Herring deployed as the senior science and technology advisor to Combined Joint Task Force Paladin in support of efforts to counter improvised explosive devices.
"Sergeant Herring is no stranger to pulling tough tours," said Mockensturm. "He's had four combat tours - in OEF and OIF. And so a lot of those young Soldiers in that unit [stationed in the Republic of Korea] and young NCOs are going to be looking to him for his expertise in knowing how to lead in combat; which he has clearly demonstrated.
"He's an excellent Soldier," said Mockensturm.
While at Redstone, Herring completed, with Cum Laude honors, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Columbia College.
A few weeks prior to his promotion, Herring was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, First Oak Leaf Cluster, from RDECOM Director Dale Ormond for his exemplary service while assigned to AMRDEC. Herring was also inducted into the Honorable Order of Saint Michael and was presented the Bronze Award by Col. Bob Marion, Project Manager for Cargo Helicopters and senior vice president of the Army Aviation Association of America's Tennessee Valley Chapter.