Breakfast Celebrates First Sergeants, NCO Academy
August 25, 2011
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala.--It was a celebration of leadership, and for many, a chance to say farewell and thank you to Redstone Arsenal, a place where that leadership has grown.
The entire student body of the last class of the NCO Academy, just hours away from graduation and fresh from what was likely to be their last six-mile run on the Arsenal, joined AUSA members and local leaders for the 1st Sgt. John Ordway Leadership Awards on Friday at The Overlook. Command Sgt. Maj. Victor Blade, commandant for the NCO Academy, spoke for one of the last times to his Soldiers at the event, encouraging them to pursue a lifetime of learning.
"The only way you're going to make a difference in your Soldiers and families is continuous learning," Blade said. "Always, always, continue to learn. It makes you a better person."
It was the recognition of a first sergeant from active duty, the Reserves and the National Guard, and the difference that each of them have made in the lives of their Soldiers that brought everyone together Friday for the recognition breakfast. 1st Sgt. Richard Robinson of Charlie Company, Master Sgt. Michael J. Foxx of 335th Signal Command and 1st Sgt. James Davis of 208th Chemical Company were honored with the 1st Sgt. John Ordway Leadership Award. Both Robinson and Foxx were on hand to receive the award.
"It ain't about what we do, it's about a service and commitment to others," Blade said moments before the awards were given out.
The 1st Sgt. John Ordway Leadership Award was created in 2005 to honor the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and the hard work of 1st Sgt. John Ordway, whose duties on the expedition included making sure the men were taken care of, providing rations and equipment, and writing letters home to their families. The award is given annually to an active duty first sergeant, as well as first sergeants from the Reserve and National Guard, who go out of their way to support Soldiers and their families.
Chosen for his people skills that instill faith, courage and loyalty in his subordinates, Robinson is responsible for the welfare, training, accountability, motivation and discipline of approximately 350 initial entry Soldiers, with a primary focus on building a combat ready unit through discipline and teamwork. He has served as first sergeant for 38 months.
Representing the Army Reserves, Foxx was chosen for the award for his personal and professional concern for his Soldiers, particularly during troop deployments. As first sergeant, he always ensured his Soldiers were fully ready for deployment, and maintained constant contact throughout the deployment with both the deployed Soldier and their family. He is a staunch advocate and active participant in Family Readiness Group activities and has deployed twice.
In addition to the awards and remarks by Blade, the last class of the NCO Academy joined each other in formation to proudly and loudly recite the NCO Creed for attendees. Members of the AMC Band, as well as local recording artist Cristina Lynn, also performed at the event.