The noncommissioned officer (NCO) recognized during the Asian-Pacific Heritage Month observance May 14 at Fort McCoy has served about 20 years around two deployments.

Sgt. 1st Class Edward Robert of the 84th Training Command (Leader Readiness) served as a team leader during a deployment to Somalia, said Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. M. Kevin Dubois. More recently, Robert deployed and served as an operations NCO and then as a combat patrol leader to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Dubois said he knew he would have a quality candidate when he sent out inquiries and received three nominations recommending Robert from high-ranking NCOs. Robert was chosen in keeping with the Asian-Pacific theme of the event.

He grew up in the Federated States of Micronesia, an island chain in the Western Pacific, a sovereign state in free association with the United States, which is responsible for their defense.

"(Sergeant First Class Robert) is very rooted in his family, (musical and food) traditions of his country, and exploration," Dubois said. "He brings the best of professionalism, honor and courage to the Army."

Robert said he enjoys life on islands as he has served in Saipan and Hawaii, and takes every opportunity he can to return to his homeland in Micronesia.