CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION Q-WEST, Iraq - A Mississippi Army National Guard Soldier received a Command Sergeant Major Award during a ceremony at Contingency Operating Location Q-West, Feb. 1.

Pfc. Quintavis B. Byrd - a sentry for an entry control point and native of Tutwiler, Miss., serving with A Company, 2nd Battalion, 198th Combined Arms, 155th Brigade Combat Team, the Q-West force protection company from Hernando, Miss. - was acknowledged for embodying the Army value of loyalty.

To honor outstanding service at the end of the deployment, the senior noncommissioned officers of the battalion recognized seven Soldiers from throughout the Battalion who embody one of the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, service, honor, integrity and personal courage, said Command Sgt. Maj. Perry Campbell.

"This is an NCO-driven effort to honor Soldiers who stood out during the deployment," said Campbell, a native of Senatobia, Miss. "The NCOs wanted to remind every Soldier in the Battalion that outstanding service is not always the result of a single act. It is the everyday practice of upholding the Army values."

1st Sgt. John L. Beasley, Byrd's senior NCO, said that the Soldier is an indispensible asset to the company.

"The Army defines loyalty as bearing true faith and allegiance to the U.S. constitution, the Army and other Soldiers, being loyal to the nation and its heritage," said Beasley, a native of Hernando, Miss. "Pfc. Byrd has lived up to this definition during this deployment. He is truly loyal to the soldiers he works with, his platoon and his unit. He is dependable and hardworking, and his teamwork instills cohesion and confidence in his fellow Soldiers. They know he will be by their side regardless of the situation. More than any Soldier in the company, Pfc. Byrd values the bond of trust between Soldiers, and we want to honor him for that."

Staff Sgt. Nicholas Hughes, a platoon sergeant and sergeant-of-the-guard for an entry control point, said Byrd's enthusiasm and loyalty inspired his fellow platoon members and contributed to overall success.

"Pfc. Byrd showed great pride and enthusiasm in every task he undertook, producing excellent results while serving as a sentry at the entry control point," said Hughes, a native of Batesville, Miss. "As a result, he has earned the respect of his peers and superiors."

Hughes detailed some of the ways Byrd distinguished himself.

"He's one of my guys who gets it done without being told," said Hughes. "For instance, he gets up an hour early everyday in order to perform preventive maintenance checks and services on the squad's assigned vehicle. We've got a lot of top-notch Soldiers, but Pfc. Byrd is a cut above. He has initiative. Many times, I don't have to ask for volunteers for some task because he was already out there doing it. He's demonstrated his future potential as a leader by serving with great success in several leadership positions, including sergeant of the guard (an NCO position) at the ECP."

Staff Sgt. Kevin L. Brown, Byrd's squad leader, made some of the same observations.

"Pfc. Byrd takes pride in being a part of the ECP at Q-West," said the Hernando, Miss., native. "His loyalty is among the highest of any soldier in the company. He has taken on the role of sergeant of the guard on several occasions. He has mastered all of the duties and tasks assigned to him. His peers call him 'Command Sgt. Maj. Byrd' due to his high work ethics, high level of motivation and determination to get the job done."

Byrd said he was moved by the recognition.

"This makes me feel good, being singled out for doing my job to the best of my ability," said Byrd. "To me, loyalty means staying true to my country, to the Army, to my unit and to my fellow Soldiers. Being recognized for loyalty is a great honor to me."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16