WASHINGTON -- Soldiers from across the Army were recognized for their achievement in various fields Monday during the Sergeant Major of the Army Forum and Awards Ceremony at the 2021 Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition.
The awards included the Sgt. Maj. Larry L. Strickland Educational Leadership Award, Sgt. Maj. Dawn Kilpatrick Memorial AUSA Scholarship Award, AUSA NCO and Soldier Programs best chapter, and several Philip A. Connelly awards for the top dining facilities.
“Recognizing the outstanding work of our Soldiers is important," said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston. "Our people are the reason we are the greatest Army in the world, and these awardees are the perfect example why. I’m proud of their accomplishments and service to our Army.”
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Carter earned the Kilpatrick award for his work in personnel, force and materiel development while at the Army Public Affairs Center. He was also involved in officer recruiting, writing doctrine and the development of a new field manual for public affairs operations.
The award, which is named after Sgt. Maj. Kilpatrick who served as the first personal public affairs noncommissioned officer for the secretary of the Army, is given to Soldiers who exemplify the Army’s vision and influence others in shaping future leaders while practicing excellent stewardship of Soldiers.
Carter has been in the Army for 14 years and currently serves as the NCO in charge of the 28nd Public Affairs Detachment at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
“It’s important to do everything as well as you can,” Carter said. “Everything that I did up at APAC, it really clicked for me. It all made sense for me, from a logical perspective. I knew that I needed to do these things to get the career field from point A to point B.”
Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Johnson, assigned to the 11th Missile Defense Battery, 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, earned the mid-grade NCO category for the Strickland award.
The award honors Sgt. Maj. Strickland who was the enlisted leader for the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel when he was killed during the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon. It is presented to Soldiers who demonstrate the Army’s vision of lifelong learning and motivate others to continue their professional development.
“It’s rather surreal,” said Johnson, who is an early warning systems manager. “The nomination was enough for me; it was great just to be recognized by my command for the things my Soldiers have been doing over the last few years. But, to win the Strickland award was great; great to represent the branch I love so much.”
When Johnson first arrived to his unit in Germany, his Soldiers approached him about learning opportunities. He said he made it a priority to ensure they had every chance to attend the military courses they wanted as well as enroll in college courses. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson and his Soldiers still came up with innovative ways, such as online training opportunities, to accomplish their professional development.
Command Sgt. Maj. William M. Shoaf, previously assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 716th Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade, U.S. Army Forces Command, won the senior NCO category for the Strickland award.
“This award is not about me. I provided motivation and direction to the Soldiers in my unit, and they really took it upon themselves to go after it,” Shoaf said. “They understand the importance of education. We’re continuing to compete for top talent across the country and, as noncommissioned officers, we have to amplify what our recruiters are telling men and women as they come in: that college is important, that they can get their college education when they come into the Army. What this does is builds future leaders.”
The Connelly awards that honor the best dining facilities were presented to the following:
Active Army garrison
- Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Active Army field kitchen
- Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Army Reserve field kitchen
- 368th Engineer Battalion, Headquarters and Headquarters Company Forward Support Element and 302nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 412th Theater Engineer Command
Army National Guard field kitchen
- Delta Company, 634th Brigade Support Battalion, 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team
The Henry Leavenworth Chapter was also chosen as this year’s AUSA NCO and Soldier Programs best chapter.