FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Dec. 1, 2016) -- Members of the 3rd Battalion, 85th Mountain Infantry Warrior Transition Battalion staff celebrated their recent achievement of being chosen as the Best Warrior Transition Unit by the Regional Health Command (Atlantic) for fiscal year 2016 during their annual Thanksgiving potluck celebration Nov. 22.

According to the RHC-A website, the best Warrior Transition Unit Award is based on "a unit's overall performance, latest organizational inspection program, staff assisted visit or inspector general inspection results as well as effective relationships in terms of maximum use of available resources and programs that document efforts or initiatives that set the unit apart from other WTBs within the respective regions."

The award was formally presented to Lt. Col. Brad Johnson, 3-85 WTB commander, by Brig. Gen. Ronald J. Place, commander of the Regional Health Command - Atlantic, during a ceremony that took place in October at Fort Benning, Ga.

During the celebration at Fort Drum, Col. John McMurray, U.S. Army Medical Department Activity - Fort Drum commander, took time to congratulate the cadre and Soldiers of the WTB who were present.

"This award is 14 months in the making," McMurray said. "When we started, we went in with the mindset that we wanted this to be easiest WTB to get care at and the best WTB for care once you were in. And we have achieved that.

"We are providing the best care to the warriors coming out of the 10th Mountain Division (LI), and because of that the 10th Mountain Division's readiness is the best in the XVIII Airborne Corps."
Johnson also took the time to thank those present and to remind them that the award was a total "team effort."

"This award really goes out to the folks in the room -- it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with what each of you does on a daily basis for the Soldiers in transition," Johnson said. "This is not just for the cadre and staff, but for the whole unit."

In addition to celebrating the best WTU award, Debbie Lester was recognized after being chosen as the Best Occupational Therapy Assistant and being awarded the Warrior Care and Transition Program Cadre Award for Excellence.

The Fort Drum WTB is now being considered at the All-Army level in the U.S. Army Medical Command competition.