Polar Bears Honor the Fallen with Barnes-Messer Award
May 24, 2012
The 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI) conducted a memorial ceremony May 23 to honor those who gave all for the cause of freedom and to recognize several outstanding Polar Bears with the Barnes-Messer Award.
The Barnes-Messer Award was established by the 4th Battalion 31st Infantry Command on February 1, 2011 to enhance morale and recognize our fallen while embracing our warrior culture. The award was named in honor of two 4-31 IN Soldiers who were killed during combat operation in Iraq, Sgt. Nathan Stanley Barnes and Sgt. Christopher P. Messer.
There are seven rigorous requirements to earn the Barnes-Messer Award. A two mile "kit and weapon" run, a 200 meter skedco drag with 200 pounds, 12 pull-ups, three bench press repetitions at 50 pounds over the Soldier's weight, 15 front squats at three quarters of their body weight, 30 dips, and two 100 meter shuttle runs in under 27 seconds.
The Soldiers who earned the Barnes-Messer Award placed their dog tags on the Barnes-Messer plaque, symbolizing an eternal chain of Soldiers who strive to be at the top of their profession.
The ceremony was held around the memorial stone which recognizes seven Polar Bears and four Soldiers from 10th Aviation Brigade who died in a helicopter crash during a training operation on March 11, 2003.
Lt. Col. Ryan and Command Sgt. Maj. Dobbs placed a wreath at the memorial stone to honor the fallen. The Polar Bears remember not only those fallen warriors, but also Polar Bears and veterans everywhere who have fought and sacrificed throughout our country's long and storied history.
The ceremony concluded with a very somber moment, when names were read of all the Soldiers who died in the March 2003 crash followed by a ceremonial firing of volleys and the playing of "Taps".