FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School is hosting activities this week in celebration of the 103rd anniversary of the Army Chemical Corps, as part of their 2021 Regimental Week.
The theme this year, “Our people first — Dragon Soldiers! CBRN warriors!” was echoed by Col. Sean Crockett, USACBRNS commandant, during his State of the Regiment speech June 22.
“The centerpiece of all that we do is developing CBRN warriors and leaders,” he said. “They are the heart and soul of all of our capability and paramount to our success.”
The week of events kicked off June 19 at Memorial Grove, where more than 200 CBRN service members and their families took part in the annual Chemical Corps Regimental Association 5K run.
On June 21, family members were again invited to join their service members in an event designed to showcase aspects of the training experiences CBRN service members receive.
According to Capt. Bennett Johnson, 3rd Chemical Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Company commander and event organizer, it was “a way to give back to the families and thank them for their support.”
“It’s an opportunity for us to recognize the families because they serve right along with their Soldier,” he said. “It’s also an opportunity to give them an appreciation for what our CBRN service members do every day — whether in a training or operational environment. I think it’s important to highlight the very unique skill set our Dragon Soldiers have.”
Throughout the day, more than 20 spouses and children of service members were able to get hands-on experience in Basic Combat Training elements at the Combat Training Company’s Engagement Skills Trainer, as well as CBRN-specific technical skills at the Lt. Joseph Terry CBRN First Responder Training Facility.
Natalie Crockett, wife of the USACBRNS commandant, called it “a great opportunity for us to see and experience what CBRN Soldiers do on a daily basis.”
“Stepping into one of those (Personal Protective Equipment) suits, you realize how much dexterity is needed to perform the tasks they have to do,” she said.
The June 22 events began with a two-mile regimental run at Gammon Field, and continued at Baker Theater, where State of the Regiment speeches were given by Crockett, USACBRNS Regimental Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Williams, and USACBRNS Regimental Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert Lockwood.
“As I reflect on my past 26 years of active-duty service to our regiment, I have witnessed a continued evolution of our CBRN counterforce to consistently meet the needs of our warfighting community to maintain freedom of movement and maneuver in complex CBRN environments,” Crockett said. “This evolution has required our Dragon Soldiers to remain agile and adaptive to our ever-changing threat environment while ensuring our formations consistently provide their unique skills and tools to enable our maneuver formation’s ability to fight and win our nation’s wars, because winning matters.”
Following the speeches, the Order of the Dragon awards were presented.
The Honorable Order of the Dragon was presented to Majs. Zebulon Pike, James Richards and Monica Rivera, and Sgts. 1st Class Seigfreid Icabandi, Michael Kotz and Yves Perry.
The Ancient Order of the Dragon — differentiated from the previous award by the requirement of having served more than 20 years — was presented to Sgt. 1st Class Scott Price, an Active Guard Reserve Soldier assigned to the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Noncommissioned Officer Academy.
The Sibert Award was then presented. Named after Maj. Gen. William Sibert — often referred to as the “Father of the Chemical Corps” — the annual award recognizes the top-performing CBRN companies in the active-duty Army, National Guard and Reserve, and the top-performing team or detachment.
The active component winner this year was the 46th CBRN Company (Tech Escort), at Fort Bliss, Texas. Capt. Jeffrey Anderson, company commander, and company 1st Sgt. Yesenia Juarez accepted the award on behalf of their unit.
The National Guard component winner this year was the 690th Chemical Company (Hazard Response), from Mobile, Alabama. Maj. Scott Massey, administrative officer, and Master Sgt. Erica Denty, operations noncommissioned officer, accepted the award on behalf of their unit.
The Reserve component winner this year was the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 340th CBRN Battalion (Area Support), currently deployed to Japan. 2nd Lt. Emani Saucier and Master Sgt. Matthew Fries accepted the award on behalf of the unit.
The team or detachment winner this year was the Nuclear Disablement Team 3, from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Team Chief Maj. Mark Quint and Sgt. 1st Class Liberio Miguel-Pablo, NCO in charge, accepted the award on behalf of the unit.
Following the Sibert Award presentations, the regiment inducted seven CBRN World War II Soldiers assigned to the 701st Chemical Maintenance Company (Aviation) into the Chemical Corps Hall of Fame. Retired Lt. Col. Broadus Jamerson III accepted the award on behalf of his father, Sgt. Broadus Jamerson Jr., and the other six service members who lost their lives at Bari Harbor, Italy.
In addition to the seven inductees, retired Col. Debra Thedford was honored as a Distinguished Member of the Corps in recognition of her volunteerism and dedication to the betterment of the regiment.
After the awards presentations, the ceremonial Army Chemical Corps birthday cake was cut. Crockett was joined by Williams, who happens to be the oldest CBRN Soldier at 51 years of age, Lockwood, and the youngest Soldier in the Regiment, Spc. John Babcock, who is 21 years of age.
June 22 was also the start of a two-day CBRN CCRA Expo at Nutter Field House.
The annual expo provides a chance for CBRN service members and industry professionals to leverage their knowledge and provide solutions for current and future CBRN operations.
CBRN Regimental Week events continue June 24, with a sunrise service that starts at 6 a.m. at the CBRN Memorial Grove; the CCRA golf tournament begins at 8 a.m. June 25, at Piney Valley Golf Course; and the Green Dragon Ball — featuring guest speaker Lt. Gen. Leslie Smith, Army Inspector General — begins at 6 p.m. June 25, at Nutter Field House.