PYEOUNGTAEK, South Korea -- Throughout the Republic of Korea, the Eighth United States Army leadership places readiness as its top priority. For the Soldiers of the 154th Medical Detachment Preventative Medicine, aka Reapers, a subordinate unit of the 168th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, their high standards of excellence were applauded Feb. 9 by Lt. Gen. Michael Bills, 8th Army commanding general, who along with 8th Army Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Merritt, presented the detachment guide-on with the 8th Army Commander's Award for Command Readiness.

"Readiness is not easy and it isn't just about the numbers. It takes dedicated leaders, disciplined Soldiers, effective training and accountability," said Bills. "It's one of those things that we have to make the time to recognize the focused effort and teamwork that was required to achieve the outstanding metrics. The Commander's Award for Readiness is designed to have high standards since readiness is the number one priority. It is these standards that Command Sgt. Maj. Merritt and I agree upon what makes a unit ready."

Bills further explained that in addition to readiness, the award is also about physical readiness training, weapons qualification, no misconduct or alcohol related incidents and Soldiers setting the standard and leading themselves.

"You have proven your readiness but more importantly, you've ensured the health, safety and readiness of outside organizations as well. The medical expertise you bring to our service members and the support you provide for the rotational units is absolutely critical," said Bills. "I applaud you for conducting the first-ever Combined-Joint Preventive Medicine Exercise focusing on increasing the mil-to-mil preventive medicine and public health posture. Your collective efforts are the key to success at all echelons and it's obvious that the Reapers live and breathe teamwork. Continue to train and excel to serve as an example to all."

To be eligible for the Commander's Award for Command Readiness, a unit must have an average physical fitness score of more than 260 on the Army Physical Fitness Test with 5 percent of assigned Soldiers earning the Army Physical Fitness badge; 90 percent Marksmanship qualification for assigned weapons with 10 percent of assigned strength qualified as expert; zero recordable Class A or B accidents; zero readiness recall violations; zero alcohol related blotter incidents; zero SHARP related incidents; maintain the equipment readiness standards for critical equipment; maintain the 8th Army standard for medical readiness of 90 percent and maintain the 8th Army standard for personnel readiness of 90 percent.