Capt. Thomas M. Bookout, commanding officer, 96th Transportation Company (96TC), 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (553CSSB), 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade (1CDSB), and 1st Sgt. Quincy Rice, first sergeant, 96TC, 553CSSB, 1CDSB, accepted the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA) 2017 Transportation Unit of the Year Award on behalf of 96TC at the NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting in St. Louis, Oct. 12.
The competition is open to all transportation companies Army wide. The competitors are evaluated on a wide range of categories including mission performance, safety and community service.
"I'm just happy that the soldiers' hard work has been recognized outside of the division by the Department of the Army," said Rice. "No matter what level you are in this company, you know you are a member of the best transportation company in the Army."
The 96th Transportation Company "Heavy Truck" provides tactical relocation of heavy maneuver forces in support of the 1st Cavalry Division, 3rd Cavalry Regiment and all units assigned to Fort Hood, Texas.
During garrison sustainment operations, the unit provides heavy equipment transporter assets and conducts combat transportation movement requests from supported maneuver units.
"This award is a representation of the hard work our soldiers have put in and their dedication to the company," said Bookout.
The 96TC supported three gunnery exercises in 2017 in which the company safely moved a total of 504 tracked vehicles during Operation Pegasus Hurricane, 650 tracked vehicles in support of Greywolf Challenge and 700 tracked vehicles for Operation Blackjack, accumulating over 19,000 miles of safe vehicle operation.
"Nothing you do or accomplish in the Army is an individual award," said Sgt. 1st Class Roderick Thomas, senior truckmaster, 96TC "It means the world to me. It's something I never thought I would be a part of."
The senior truckmaster is in charge of all transportation missions the company conducts and all activities in the company motor pool.
"All credit goes to the soldiers and NCOs in the company," said Thomas. "I am just an instrument. Just a spoke in the wheel."
The company also directly supported 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team of the Mississippi Army National Guard in their training operation in which the soldiers of 96TC "Heavy Truck" successfully moved 250 tracked vehicles in less than 48 hours, surpassing over 3,000 miles across Fort Hood training areas with zero incidents.
In addition to the three gunnery support exercises, the company calculated 1.6 million miles driven; safely moving over 1,200 heavy equipment tracked vehicles in the past year.
"Hearing we actually won was just the cherry on the cake, and the soldiers are very excited and proud of the accolades they received," said Thomas. "We have always believed we are the best company, hands down."
The consensus among the leadership within the company is that the soldiers are the ones who should be recognized for earning the award, which will hang in the company headquarters next to the company picture.
"We wanted to take a picture with the whole company, because it's really the soldiers who won it," said Rice.