GUAM — Task Force Talon recognizes their 2023 Soldiers and NCOs of the Year. Task Force Talon is the Army unit that provides ballistic missile defense for the island of Guam. The task force comprises the E-3 Air Defense Artillery (ADA) THAAD Battery, the U.S. Army’s first-ever forward-deployed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Battery, and a Guam National Guard Security Force (SECFOR) company. SECFOR VI Team Sindalu conducts asset security operations for E-3 ADA to support the Defense of Guam mission. Soldiers and NCOs were chosen for the awards based on their fitness test scores, weapons qualifications, crew certification performance, extracurricular activities, volunteer service, and leader recommendations.
The Task Force Talon Soldier of the Year is Spc. Cherina Tedpahago. Tedpahago serves as a rifleman in 1st Platoon, Team Sindalu, and she consistently exhibits the qualities of a remarkable leader by willingly assuming responsibilities whenever possible. She is part of the Task Force Talon Color Guard, lends her voice to sing the Guam in the Chamorro language during ceremonies, and is active in volunteer activities. Tedpahago is constantly working to improve herself on all fronts - physically, mentally, and spiritually. Her unwavering selfless service strengthens her leadership role and sets her apart from her peers.
The Task Force Talon NCO of the Year is Sgt. Kurtlyn Hall. Hall serves as the Task Force S1 NCOIC/Human Resources Sergeant. Her duties include preparing and maintaining unit and Soldier reports and providing administrative support for the Task Force. In January 2023, Hall efficiently handled the transfer of over 200 Soldier’s data and information to the Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army. On top of her duties, she pushed to advance herself by accruing over 230 correspondence hours and 27 college credit hours toward a degree. Hall’s commitment and hard-working attitude greatly support the unit and the mission.
The E-3 ADA THAAD Soldier of the Year is Spc. Jose Reyes. Reyes serves as a 14G Battle System Manager in the Fire Control Platoon. His duties include integrating air defense systems to provide the commander with airspace awareness and early warning for Site Excalibur, Guam. To accomplish these tasks, he is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of over $4,000,000 of equipment. Reyes always strives for excellence and is willing to take on any challenge. He consistently displays his commitment to the Defense of Guam mission and provides an excellent example for others to emulate.
The E-3 ADA NCO of the Year is Sgt. Mashara Lovelace. Lovelace serves as an Automated Logistical Specialist in the Maintenance Platoon. Her duties include the acquisition and accounting of Class IX parts valued at over $1,500,000, as well as filing of unit vehicle dispatches and work orders. Lovelace revolutionized various maintenance operations to ensure that all maintenance reports are flexible and up-to-date. In the aftermath of Typhoon Mawar in late May 2023, Lovelace was responsible for the accountability and proper handling during recovery operations of over $2,500,000 worth of equipment and parts. Her commitment to duty greatly assists the E-3 ADA in maintaining its war-fighting stature. Lovelace displays an excellent example for her peers, leadership, and civilian contractors.
The SECFOR VI soldier of the Year is Spc. Dominic Crisostomo. Crisostomo serves as a machine gunner in the 2nd Platoon. He set an example for his peers by becoming the second-ever Guam National Guardsman to earn the prestigious Expert Soldier Badge. Crisostomo’s inspiration, motivation, and exceptional time management skills have consistently proven invaluable to the Defense of Guam mission. In the Indo-Pacific Command region, he has demonstrated his ability to collaborate seamlessly with diverse entities in cross-functional cooperation. His unwavering work ethic shines brightly as he capably manages and executes tasks, thus establishing himself as an indispensable team cornerstone.
The SECFOR VI NCO of the Year is Staff Sgt. Christopher Quinlan. Quinlan serves as a Squad Leader in the 1st Platoon. As Sergeant of the Guard, he has performed over 1,800 hours of physical security operations in support of E-3 ADA’s mission. Quinlan was responsible for the overall well-being, protection, and accountability of over 100 Soldiers and contractors. He is an excellent team player and displays high competency and professionalism in all he does. Quinlan took charge of several mission-enhancing tasks, including spearheading various security upgrades to the THAAD site. He is the epitome of an Army NCO and embodies all aspects of a strong leader.
All awardees received an Army Achievement Medal from the Task Force Talon Commander Lt. Col. Jonathan Stafford. They additionally received coins from the Air Defense Artillery Commandant command team, Col. Curtis King, and Command Sgt. Maj. Giancarlo Macri during their visit to Guam. Congratulations to all the awardees!