Fort Drum Soldiers graduate Warrior Leader Course
February 18, 2010
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - The Fort Drum community honored 86 Soldiers who graduated from the Warrior Leader Course on Feb. 10. The two-week course teaches noncommissioned officers military leadership skills.
Guest speaker Command Sgt. Maj. Philip A. Chepenik, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, congratulated the graduating class and suggested it was "personal pride" that allowed Soldiers to excel as leaders.
"Noncommissioned officers (who) have pride in themselves, their Soldiers, their unit and their Families will always be successful in our Army because they are what a true leader is all about," Chepenik said.
"Pride in your Soldiers will result in you ensuring that they are technically and tactically proficient," he said. "Pride in yourself will result in you being the role model for your Soldiers that they want to follow at all times. Pride in your equipment will ensure that you maintain it to its highest possible state of readiness, ready for the next mission."
"Do you have pride in yourself, your Soldiers, your Family, your unit and our nation'" Chepenik asked graduates. "You need to ask yourself this very question every day, because our Army and our nation are counting on you, the noncommissioned officer, to train and prepare our Soldiers for combat."
Chepenik also told graduates their hard work at WLC would pay off in the long run.
"You have endured the hardships, long nights of studying, tests and the stress imposed on you," he said. "You are a living testimony on why the Noncommissioned Officer Corps has been given the title of 'Backbone of the Army.' The tough, demanding and challenging standards that you have faced here will soon reap benefits for you, your Soldiers and your units."
After sharing his remarks, Chepenik handed out awards and helped recognize each graduate.
Sgt. Christopher M. Weatherington, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, was named Distinguished Honor Graduate for superior academic achievement.
Weatherington also was honored with the John D. Magrath Leadership Award.
The Commandant's Inspection winner was Spc. Jeridine Stewart, 277th Aviation Support Battalion.
Instructor of the Cycle was presented to Staff Sgt. Ryan Witt.
The following Soldiers performed above course standards and were named to the Commandant's List: Spc. Jeridine Stewart, Spc. Michael D. Houston, Spc. Kenny Phommavong, Spc. Kevin J. Rios, Spc. Holger K. Sonntag, Spc. Charles J. Jaques, Spc. John C. Stone, Spc. Jason A. Gatlin, Sgt. Michael J. Manning and Sgt. Nicholas A. Karigan.
Other WLC graduates were as follows: Sgt. Aldo Acevedojacome, Sgt. Mark D. Ackerman, Sgt. Douglas J. Adkins Jr., Sgt. Roderick W. Cole, Sgt. Rolando D. Diaz, Sgt. Jessica F. Dougherty, Sgt. Damian D. Francis, Sgt. Noah A. Francisco, Sgt. Collin D. Ingraham, Sgt. Douglas D. Isenhower Jr., Sgt. Jason S. Lee, Sgt. John A. Matier, Sgt. Daniel P. May, Sgt. Joseph M. Moore, Sgt. John R. Oyston, Sgt. Joshua E. Shober, Sgt. Justin M. Storiezellweger and Sgt. Martin Vasquez Jr.
Also, Spc. Joshua Binion, Spc. Kristopher A. Block, Spc. Jason P. Bodor, Spc. Tonia N. Bollers, Spc. Joshua L. Boyle, Spc. Sean W. Brennan, Spc. Benjamin T. Brooks, Spc. Amanda J. Brown, Spc. Christopher L. Brown, Spc. Kenneth D. Bunker, Spc. Diego N. Cabrera, Spc. Brando Carney, Spc. Felix Cedano, Spc. Charles G. Coffman, Spc. Patrick R. Cooper, Spc. Lydia Davis, Spc. Dale J. Dick, Spc. Paul L. Earley, Spc. Mackenzie Ellis, Spc. Brian M. Fogarty, Spc. Michael J. Foster, Spc. Tritan Friesen, Spc. Andrew R. Gage, Spc. Andrew Gonzalez, Spc. Craig Groom, Spc. Steven J. Hamre Jr., Spc. James T. Higgins, Spc. Brent I. Johnson, Spc. Purcell L. Johnson, Spc. Belinda I. Jones and Spc. Michael D. Jones.
Also, Spc. William A. King, Spc. Bryan C. Klukiewicz, Spc. Brandon C. Lackowski, Spc. Timothy D. Leber, Spc. Caryn E. Linson, Spc. Eduardo G. Machado, Spc. Evan D. Martinez, Spc. Grant E. Mattocks, Spc. Jonathan J. Mcdonald, Spc. Jorge A. Molina, Spc. Akeem F. Nugent, Spc. Thomas F. Odonnell, Spc. Thomas J. Powell, Spc. Ryan T. Radcliff, Spc. Ricky Ramirez, Spc. Rita D. Ramirez, Spc. Dario M. Reartes, Spc. Mark J. Sad, Spc. Charles L. Stevens Jr., Spc. Anthony, Tolefree, Spc. Isaac Trevino, Spc. Reinald J. Vista, Spc. Jason L. Walz, Spc. Brian E. Wiegand, Spc. Aaron D. Williams and Spc. Bronzay R. Young.