Fort Rucker Soldier earns DOD/Morehouse College accolades
February 25, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- "Make the best of it and do what I can," is 1st Lt. Emanuel Pierre's philosophy, and actions related to that philosophy recently earned him a prestigious award.
Earlier this month, Pierre, an A Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment Soldier, received the Department of Defense/Morehouse College 2010 National African-American History Month Military Award. Pierre said winners were selected based on contributions made to overseas contingency operations.
Pierre earned the honor for actions performed while serving as a civil military operations officer for 421st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, Wiesbaden, Germany, during Operation Iraqi Freedom through October 2009.
In his position, Pierre coordinated medevac missions and the construction of a Level II clinic, the first place where wounded Soldiers see doctors in war zones. Pierre said in order to set up the clinic, he had to coordinate medical training for Iraqi doctors and nurses, who later ran the clinic, and ensured everything was done properly in accordance with U.S. Army Medical Command policies.
"Pierre's performance was exceptional in every manner. I never had to follow up on the tasks or missions assigned to (him) as he always delivered products and events that far exceeded my expectations," said Lt. Col. Noel Cardenas, 421st Multifunctional Medical Battalion commander.
Because of his medevac pilot training, Pierre said performing his duties required some adjustments, but he invoked his philosophy in order to successfully complete his job.
The way Pierre handled his job made him an easy nomination for the award, Cardenas said.
"He required little, if any, supervision because he always put his heart and soul into his duties," Cardenas said. "He is the epitome of the Army Values and Warrior Ethos. His compassion for our nation, the U.S. Army and taking care of Soldiers should be infectious, and it made my job as the Task Force Commander so much easier."
After winning on the European operations level, Pierre took home the MEDCOM-level award before winning the Department of the Army prize. Pierre said he was shocked to garner the honor.
"I couldn't believe it just because of the enormity of the Army. There are a lot of Soldiers out there doing good things," he said.
Pierre added good things can result from his honor.
"I see it as a recruiting tool to encourage diversity," he said, noting his example could provide encouragement for other minorities. "Every organization can improve, but we've come a long way as an Army."
His former commander sees other impacts.
"His selection for this prestigious award will inspire others to not only work harder but to put compassion into their duties and assigned missions," Cardenas said.
Pierre has been here since January, attending the Aviation Captains Career Course. His small group leader, Maj. Mark Legaspi, said Pierre's award should motivate other Aviators.
"Any branch in which a Soldier receives recognition definitely benefits," he said. "It's definitely uplifting. He's a good asset to our class."