'Military Times' honors small group leader
August 29, 2013
A Fort Leonard Wood Soldier received an honorable mention in the 2013 Soldier of the Year award competition held by Military Times.
Staff Sgt. Adam Smith Jr. is a small group leader at the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence.
Soldiers nominated were any active duty, National Guard or Reserve Soldier who was serving through August 2013 and who demonstrated not only exemplary service but made a significant impact within his or her community in 2012.
"I felt honored to be nominated, especially working at the Fort Leonard Wood Noncommissioned Officer Academy with all the high quality of NCOs working there," Smith said. "When I found out I was an honorable mention, I felt extremely honored to have made it. I think it's important to volunteer in your community, because it helps you get involved in the community and you get a sense of pride in community."
According to Military Times, Smith received an honorable mention because he not only proved his mettle in combat; he also finds time to give back to his community.
Smith, who has deployed twice to Iraq, has volunteered more than 110 hours of his time over the past two years. In a previous assignment in Germany, he was recognized for leading 22 volunteers in encouraging the children of Schweinfurt Elementary School to read.
Last year, he organized and led 32 volunteers in raising $21,000 to support the Children's Miracle Network at the University of Missouri Children's Hospital.
"The community service project that Engineer ALC does annually at the Columbia Children's Miracle Network hospital is very near and dear to my heart," Smith said.
He also regularly organizes 96 volunteers to spend time at the understaffed St. James Veterans Home. At the home, Smith helps organize bingo games, karaoke sessions and barbecues, and maintains the flagpole.
"I think volunteering does help make you a better Soldier. All missions in the Army are not always combat related; there are peacekeeping and humanitarian (missions), and I feel volunteering helps prepare you," Smith said.
As a Soldier, Smith was hand-picked to be a small-group leader at the MSCoE Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Fort Leonard Wood. So far, he has accumulated 3,144 instructor contact hours during 12 classes, including while serving as the senior instructor for two overseas mobile training teams. He also conducted the first completely digital engineer advanced leader course, setting the bar for other courses at the NCO Academy.
"The last thing I would like to add is it has been an honor being able to serve in the United States Army and to continue to serve," Smith said.