FORT RILEY, Kansas -- An Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician was recognized by the Society of the 1st Infantry Division.
Staff Sgt. David Nakasone from the 162nd EOD Company was honored this summer at the 1st Infantry Division Reunion in Orange County, California.
During the reunion, Nakasone received a cutlass for being named the 1st Infantry Division Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.
The 162nd EOD Company is part of the 84th EOD Battalion, 71st EOD Group, 20th CBRNE Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives), the Department of Defense's only formation that combats chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats.
Named the Big Red One because of its patch, the 1st Infantry Division is the oldest continuously serving combat division in the U.S. Army. Based on Fort Riley, Kansas, Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division have served with distinction since 1917.
Nakasone credits his success with believing in his mission and striving to excel at it.
"All the awards, privileges and other benefits of performing well are just symptoms of understanding your purpose and having the passion to fulfill it," said Nakasone, a native of Bethlehem, Penn., who served in Afghanistan.
Nakasone said meeting former 1st Infantry Division veterans from previous wars was the highlight of the reunion.
As an EOD technician, Nakasone has defeated 78 explosive devices.
"I became an EOD technician because I wanted to serve in a role where I could provide the most benefit to the Army," said Nakasone. "I was committed when I discovered the broad mission set, high levels of responsibility and ability we have to protect life and property."