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Staff Sgt. Jorge Lopez

FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- A Fort Jackson Soldier received the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army Individual Award of Excellence in Safety in the noncommissioned officer category Monday.

Staff Sgt. Jorge Lopez, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, was presented with the award by Brig. Gen. Bryan Roberts, Fort Jackson's commanding general, during a video teleconference with TRADOC commander Gen. Robert Cone.

Lopez, who has been in the Army for 11 years, works in the battalion's operations office. He said he takes his additional duty as an alternate safety officer very seriously.

"Safety (measures) keep the Soldiers from getting hurt," Lopez said. "It protects the force. That's the most important thing."

Lopez, a native of Fresno, Calif., said he did not know that he was nominated for the award. He said he found out that he won after his wife saw an announcement on Facebook. He said he was surprised and that he appreciates the award, but he also gave credit to the battalion's other safety officers.

"I'm successful because they help me whenever they can," he said. Lopez' battalion commander, Lt. Col. John Allen, praised Lopez for his dedication to each mission he embarks on.

"Having worked with and alongside Staff Sgt. Lopez for nearly two years, I'd have to say that what truly sets him apart from his peers is his level of dedication, passion and selfless actions," Allen said. "He executes every duty regardless of its scope or complexity with the same level of commitment and enthusiasm. So although he's being recognized for his achievements in safety, the same holds true with every mission, additional duty or project he undertakes. And if that wasn't enough, he's as humble as they come."

Page last updated Thu May 17th, 2012 at 00:00