KATUSA leadership: Top Soldiers earn Gen. Paik award
August 12, 2008
<strong>YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea</strong> - The General Paik Sun-yup Leadership Award is a special award in honor of the greatest war hero during the Korean War and recognizes the most outstanding noncommissioned officers in the Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army program.
Sgt. Jung Ho-won, 524th Military Intelligence Battalion, and Cpl. Kim Yong-sung from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, USAG-Yongsan, were two of 14 winners recognized July 14 in a special ceremony.
"The General Paik Board is an opportunity many Soldiers look upon to distinguish themselves with excellence," said Republic of Korea Army Command Sgt. Maj. Kong Hyung-kwon, one of the board members.
Jung serves at the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical and Supply Room. He said he went through various challenges to have reached this accomplishment.
"When I was a 'baby' KATUSA, I was encouraged to participate in a quarterly board, which eventually led me to take another quarterly board, a battalion-wide board, then a brigade-wide board, and two General Paik boards," he said. "Thankfully this year I made it."
Jung said he had to go through an intense board process where he was tested by senior noncommissioned officers on various subjects such as the Korean War, leadership, nuclear, biological and chemical training, first aid and the KATUSA Program.
The work paid off, as last month he and the others earned certificates of achievement from 8th U.S. Army leaders, a Paik Sun-yup Leadership Medallion and an Army Commendation medal.
Before the ceremony, they enjoyed a luncheon at the Hartell House and a group photo with other winners. Many of the Gen. Paik Board winners invited their parents to make them proud.
Cpl. Kim Yong-sung said his family was excited to watch him at the ceremony.
"Training for the board has been very rewarding," Kim said. "This board has given me an opportunity to prove myself and my confidence as an NCO."
Kim has competed in a monthly board, a quarterly board and in the Installation Management Command-Korea board, while taking care of administrative affairs at the company orderly room.
"It is a remarkable accomplishment," said Cpt. Chun Young-hwan, HHC, USAG-Yongsan commander. "Cpl. Kim has distinguished himself to be one of the top Soldiers within the company, giving a lot of motivation for the junior KATUSAs within the company to see one of their fellow Soldiers go up and win such a prestigious board."
Chun said this award inspires all of the KATUSA Soldiers to strive for excellence.
Kim and Jung both explained that the lessons learned through their efforts will somehow help them in their future careers.
"The boards have been an opportunity for me to work hard for something I had failed to achieve before," Jung said.
Kim added, "I have learned that it is through a non-stop self-challenging that I can successfully develop myself."