FORT JACKSON, S.C. (Sept. 11, 2014) -- Staff Sgt. Benson Uche, assigned to the Fort Jackson Student Detachment, and Sgt. Sandra San Roman, Reception Holding Unit, 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception), are this year's recipients of the 100th Infantry Division and Pfc. Henry B. Williams Jr. Scholarship.
Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker, Fort Jackson commanding general, will present each Soldier with a check for $925 Friday from the 100th Infantry Division Association to help with school fees and books.
Bob Fair, a surviving member of the 100th Infantry Division, said the scholarship is just one way the 100th Infantry Division legacy can be remembered.
The 100th Infantry Division, also known as the "Century Division," was re-activated at Fort Jackson Nov. 15, 1942. Before deploying to World War II, the division trained at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and in the mountains of Tennessee. The Soldiers of the 100th Division fought in World War II in central Europe.
"Each year, we give out scholarships to NCOs of Fort Jackson and Fort Bragg to help with college fees and books," Fair said. "We have also given out major scholarships to many (Virginia Military Institute) students, because that is where our division commander graduated from (Lt. Gen. Withers Burress, VMI Class of 1914)."
Kara Motosicky, Fort Jackson's community relations officer, said the scholarship program dates back to 1991, when retired Maj. Alden Small, a former commander of Headquarters Company, persuaded the division association to offer two $250 scholarships for deserving Fort Jackson Soldiers in college. The first scholarships were awarded in 1992.
"In 2011, the scholarship was renamed to honor the memory of Pfc. Henry B. Williams Jr., who died in July 2011. He served as the liaison between the 100th Infantry Division and Fort Jackson for more than two decades," Motosicky said.
Delesia Harris, education service specialist, said the only eligibility requirements for the scholarship are that the applicant must be active-duty sergeants or staff sergeants assigned to Fort Jackson. Soldiers interested in applying next year may begin submitting their application in March. The deadline is June.
"This year's applicants submitted a written essay, transcript, a record of community service and awards. The Soldiers' applications were placed before a review board and evaluated based upon their need," Harris said.
"I am really excited about winning the award. It shows my children that although mommy is still in the Army I can get schooling done as well," San Roman said.
Currently, San Roman attends the University of Phoenix studying in elementary education.
Uche attended Benedict College, majoring in interdisciplinary studies. He is also a green-to-gold program recipient who started classes with the University of South Carolina participating in the ROTC program this semester.
"I applied for this scholarship because it seemed like a great opportunity to help me with books and tuition. I couldn't pass it up, and I'm grateful that I won," Uche said.