501st Chemical Company receives Sibert Award
June 22, 2013
CAMP STANLEY, South Korea -- The Soldiers in the 501st Chemical Company (Technical Escort), 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division showed expertise, fidelity, and commitment as well as surpassing the Army standards by winning the Maj. Gen. William L. Sibert Award for excellence in the chemical field.
The Sibert Award recognizes the most distinguished chemical units in the active Army, National Guard, and Army Reserves components. The 501st Chem. Co., made top honors throughout the entire active duty chemical corps.
The Sibert Award is granted to a chemical unit based on overall mission readiness, training, physical fitness, discipline, organizational skills and most importantly attention to details.
"The Sibert Award program takes a look at every metric that goes into being a company-sized element and compares that unit across the Army for a 12-month period," said Lt. Col. D. Sean Crockett, battalion commander for the 23rd Chemical Battalion.
During the first half of the review period, the 501st Chemical Co., fell under the 110th Chemical Battalion then realigned with the 23rd Chemical Battalion in Aug. 2012. Through meticulous record keeping, hard work and training above and beyond the standards, the unit proved worthy of the award.
"The 501st 'Vipers' have been through a lot in the last 12 months," said Crockett. "They conducted several real world missions back in the states. They re-flagged under the 23rd Chemical (Bn.) from the 110th Chemical Battalion. Then on top of meeting all training requirements, half of the 501st (Chemical Co.) deploy to Korea as the advance party to help prepare to receive the rest of the battalion. So at that point, you had the 'Vipers' running full spectrum operations on two continents."
Transitioning between battalions then a move to Korea, all on top of the real world missions and training was not an easy task for the unit. However, the Soldiers and leadership continued with business as usual.
"The move to Korea didn't really affect my team and myself," said Staff Sgt. Omarley Ritter, Bronx, N.Y. native and a team leader for 501st Chemical Co. "Everyone was pretty excited about coming over. Plus we knew that once we got to Korea there would be a lot more missions. We were in 'go mode' once the boots hit the ground."
Winning the Sibert Award has not affected the quantity of the missions or the attitudes of the Soldiers said Ritter. The 'Viper' Soldiers and leader enjoy the notoriety and recognition but are planning to continue their day to day mission. Ritter said they enjoy doing their jobs.
"We didn't win the award based on one particular event," said Maj. Rogelio Pineda, Monterey, Calif., commander for the 501st Chemical Co. "The Sibert Award is based off of Soldier's hard work. This award is the accomplishment of the Soldiers. Everything about their soldiering is reviewed and graded. I want my Soldiers to know this honor belongs to them. If at any point, any of my Soldiers have ever thought that their hard work has gone unnoticed, well it hasn't because this is their award."
While the 501st Chemical Co., has already been announced as the winner of the 2013 Sibert Award, the battalion commander, company commander, and guide-on will fly to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., toward the end of June to receive the award at the regimental headquarters.