'Long Knife' soldier named US Division-North Soldier of the Quarter
Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Dailey, senior enlisted leader of U.S. Division-North and 4th Infantry Division, congratulates Pfc. Nicholas Mayora on being named U.S. Division-North Soldier of the Quarter during a ceremony at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, March 29, 2011. Mayora, a resident of Dallas, serves as an armor crewman with 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. "All of my non-commissioned officers and leaders helped me study and prepare for this, and this is a great achievement that I'm proud of," said Mayora.

CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ, Iraq - Pfc. Nicholas Mayora, an armor crewman assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, recently earned the honor of U.S. Division-North Soldier of the Quarter.

Mayora, a resident of Dallas, bested other service members from northern Iraq during a board competition that tested the warrior's military knowledge, professionalism and U.S. Army values.

"It's great to see the future of the Army in a young soldier like Pfc. Mayora," said Command Sgt. Maj. Henry Griffith, senior enlisted advisor for the 2nd Bn., 7th Cav. Regt. "His motivation and drive has gotten him there to be the division soldier of the quarter."

Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Mayora assists his platoon at Patrol Base 6 by training and providing security with Iraqi soldiers assigned to 2nd Iraqi Army Division soldiers.

U.S. soldiers at the remote installation advise, train and assist an Iraqi platoon, responsible for maintaining security operations for their base and nearby checkpoints.

"Mayora is willing to go above and beyond what is expected out of the average soldier," said Griffith, a native of Washington, D.C. "He's a great example for other soldiers to emulate."

In preparation for the U.S. Division-North Soldier of the Quarter Board and competing against his junior enlisted peers, Mayora outwitted his fellow 4th AAB troopers in battalion and brigade Soldier of the Month boards.

With the help of his senior enlisted leaders from Company C, Mayora set out to exemplify what it means to be a U.S. Army soldier.

"Mayora is just one of those soldiers that you're lucky to have the opportunity to work with," said Sgt. 1st Class Dallas Parkerson, platoon sergeant for 3rd Platoon, Company C.

Parkerson helped Mayora prepare for the academic contests by testing him and conducting mock boards.

"He's a good soldier," said Parkerson, a native of Indianola, Miss. "He's very dedicated, learns quickly and is able to perform multiple duties here at the patrol base when we need him."

In addition to his routine duties at Patrol Base 6, which include pulling guard duty in a tower or at the entry control point, Mayora also goes on mounted and dismounted patrols with Iraqi soldiers.

During his "down time", Mayora studied for the academic boards with the intent of successfully representing his unit.

"It feels good to have achieved something like this, and at the same time learn a lot about the U.S. Army," said Mayora.

In late 2009, after earning an associate's degree in general science, Mayora enlisted to serve in the U.S. Army with the goal of becoming a leader.

Even though he has only been in the military for 18 months, Mayora believes attaining this kind of knowledge will help him throughout his military career.

"All of my non-commissioned officers and leaders helped me study and prepare me for this, and this is a great achievement that I'm proud of," said Mayora.

Mayora said he plans to continue his undergraduate studies in security and intelligence, attend officer candidate school and retire as a general officer in the U.S. Army.

Page last updated Tue March 19th, 2013 at 00:00