Master Sgt. Benjamine Nordholm, the senior electronic warfare non-commissioned officer in charge with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, and Mr. John Kimball, the 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division Safety Manager, won Army Safety Awards for the 2019 fiscal year.
Nordholm won the FORSCOM Senior Non-commissioned Officer Army Individual Award for Excellence in Safety, and Kimball won the Army Risk Management Award. 10th Mountain Division, and 1st Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, both won FORSCOM Army Exceptional Organization Safety Awards. FORSCOM winners are in the running to win Secretary of the Army and Army Chief of Staff Safety Awards, as well.
To be considered for an award, both individuals and organizations must have made significant improvements and contributions to accident prevention efforts, among other criteria.
Nordholm, who is an avid motorcyclist, said he attributes his win to his dedication and contributions made to the 10th Mountains Motorcycle Mentorship Program. He said his main goal was to create a program that would increase the safety of motorcyclists without feeling like the training was a heavy burden or chore.
"I wanted to develop a way to get the motorcycle riders involved with different programs and ideas to help them become safer riders," said Nordholm. "But I also wanted them to have the opportunity to participate in other activities."
The Motorcycle Mentorship Program is a voluntary unit or installation-level organization where inexperienced and seasoned motorcycle riders are paired together to create a supportive environment that promotes safe and responsible riding.
Nordholm has created a motorcycling guidebook of the in-state and surrounding state laws, developed a commute program encouraging riders to travel in pairs, and developed a refresher program for Soldiers returning from deployment.
Mr. Rico Williams, the 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Safety Manager, who nominated Nordholm, said he was not surprised he won.
"Sometimes people that are technically savvy may not have a passion for it, and then sometimes someone that has a passion may not be technically savvy," said Williams. "In Master Sgt. Nordholm's case I found both of those things to be off the scale."
Kimball won his award for his support in 10th Mountain operations, including two Mountain Peak brigade training exercises, one conducted in extreme-cold weather. He also supported two rail load-out operations to Fort Polk, La., one conducted in negative 34 degrees and blizzard conditions. He also provided rapid new equipment training for all-terrain vehicles and taught the Motorcycle Mentorship Program to 1st BCT Soldiers
"I was not expecting to be nominated for any awards, let alone win," said Kimball. "For me, it has never been about any awards or accolades. It has always been about the Soldiers and how to keep them in the fight and be better at what they do without injuring themselves or others during training and deployments."
Michael Tully, the Acting Senior Safety Director at Fort Drum, nominated Kimball for the award and praised his performance.
"Mr. Kimball is an individual force-multiplier for the brigade combat team, and can be found at all high-risk and complex unit operations," said Tully. "Teaching, coaching, and mentoring senior leaders, junior leader, and unit safety officers how to actively manage risk while safely training Soldiers to conduct complex operations, and enabling successful mission accomplishment."