JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - In front of a formation of nearly 100 soldiers, Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division, recognized three soldiers from three separate brigades within the division for their "outstanding actions," naming them Bayonet Soldiers of the Month.

One of those soldiers, Sgt. Larry Blais, said he was "just doing what a leader should be."

On May 5, 2013, Blais, a noncommissioned officer with the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, was performing a weekend barracks inspection of his soldiers' living quarters. It was on that evening that Blais' quick-thinking and leadership skills were used to make a timely assessment of an intoxicated soldier and then rush that soldier to the emergency room for immediate medical attention.

"Displaying exceptional duty and selfless service, two of the seven Army values, makes soldiers such as you such an asset to this great nation," said Command Sgt. Maj. Delbert Byers, 7th ID command sergeant major, as Lanza presented the Lewiston, Maine, native with a plaque and commander's coin.

Blais said all leaders should be performing barracks inspections, and he would expect any other leader in his position to have done the same thing he did.

"Sgt. Blais saved this soldier from a potentially deadly situation. He is an engaged leader, and that is exactly the type of leaders we want in our ranks," Lanza said.

Page last updated Tue August 13th, 2013 at 00:00