Tobyhanna recognizes National Guard officer
Col. Charles Gibson, depot commander, left, presents the Warfighter of the Quarter award to Capt. James Minicozzi. Command Sgt. Maj. Wade Heilman, 55th Brigade Combat Team sergeant major, right, also attended the event.

TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, PA. - An Army National Guard officer received Tobyhanna Army Depot's Warfighter of the Quarter Award for work performed while commanding hundreds of Soldiers in Southwest Asia.

Capt. James R. Minicozzi was recognized for providing communication support in Iraq and Afghanistan, and sustaining the military proficiency of Soldiers under his command. Hundreds of people witnessed the ceremony at a local military appreciation event.

"I am truly, truly honored and humbled to be the recipient of this award," said Minicozzi. "I just did the job that I have been trained to do to the best of my ability."

Minicozzi is a Signal Corp Officer with over 14 years of military service. He has held numerous command and staff positions in the Air Force and Army; most recently as commander, Company B (Network Support Company), 55th Brigade Combat Team at Tobyhanna.

Today, the captain serves a dual role. As the Brigade S6, he advises the brigade commander on all communications and automation matters affecting the unit and subordinate battalions. Minicozzi also serves as the state's strength manager for officer recruiting and retention in Pennsylvania. He's responsible for meeting annual officer requirements assigned by the National Guard.

"It was an honor and a privilege to award the Warfighter of the Quarter Award to Captain Minicozzi; especially in the company of his family and friends," said Col. Charles Gibson, depot commander. "As I mentioned during the presentation, it is not about the numerous awards and decorations he has received, it's about making an impact everyday on Soldier's lives and our communities, which he has successfully done during his career. What a great officer and family."
Tobyhanna's senior enlisted member agrees.

"It's very easy to recognize Soldiers that encompass values, compassion and resilience," said Sgt. Maj. Kelvin Spencer. "It's Soldiers like you who haven't forgotten what it truly means when we say do the right thing, give it your all and do it to 'standard.' Thank you for all you do for the Soldiers, their families, but more importantly, what you do for our Army."

During his military career, the captain has deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Korea and Ground Zero in New York.

Minicozzi was attached to the 1st Armor Division, then the 18th Airborne Corp, during his last deployment to the desert.

While there, he was responsible for tactical communication support for the warfighter. His unit was responsible for the installation and maintenance of both tactical and commercial cable in Iraq and Afghanistan. Duties included running fiber optics and phone cables, networking, security, configuration and setup.

Records show the captain designed and developed the architecture for wide and local area network solutions. He also designed a solution for a voice network and Transmission Control Facility.

He commanded more than 200 Soldiers in three countries at more than 50 different worksites, managing over 100 projects and saving the government over $3 million. In addition to maintaining 100 percent accountability of personnel and equipment, Minicozzi also emphasized the need for everyone to be prepared for deployment at all times.

"It was important that all the Soldiers meet education qualifications to perform their duties in a tactical and commercial environment," Minicozzi said. "I made sure they were able to perform all military tasks, were weapons qualified, and met Army physical and weight control standards."

Minicozzi feels his success is a result of the "great equipment that Tobyhanna produces, maintains and repairs for the men and women in uniform." He noted the award is a reflection of the depot's "outstanding" support of military members everywhere.

One family member attending the ceremony said Minicozzi always sets the bar a little higher than what is expected.

"All his life he's been an over achiever," said James (J.P.) Minicozzi, the captain's father. "We're thrilled to see him be recognized for his accomplishments."

Minicozzi is a Scranton native. He serves his community and church in a number of organizations such as La Festa Italian Board of Directors, UNICO (Unity, Neighborliness, Integrity, Charity and Opportunity), and the Boys and Girls Club of NEPA. He attends St. Lucy's Parish and is a member of the Knights of Columbus.

"I cannot thank everyone enough for everything they did in making this happen," Minicozzi said. "The ceremony was awesome and very moving. My family and I will be forever grateful."

Members of all branches of the Armed Forces are eligible for the Tobyhanna Warfighter of the Quarter Award.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department's largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna's missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.

About 5,600 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army CECOM Life Cycle Management Command. Headquartered at Fort Monmouth, N.J., the command's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.

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