By Capt. Murray Shugars, 2nd Battalion, 198th Combined ArmsMarch 1, 2010
CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION Q-WEST, Iraq - A Mississippi Army National Guard Soldier received a command sergeant major's award during a ceremony here, Feb. 15.
Sgt. Kyle R. Stegall, a vehicle commander from Sugarland, Texas, serving with C Company, 2nd Battalion, 198th Combined Arms, 155th Brigade Combat Team, an armor company out of Oxford and Indianola, Miss., 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, was acknowledged for embodying the Army value of respect.
To honor outstanding service at the end of the deployment, the senior noncommissioned officers of the battalion recognized seven Soldiers throughout the battalion, each of whom embody one of the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, service, honor, integrity and personal courage, said Command Sgt. Maj. Perry Campbell.
"This is an NCO-driven effort to honor Soldiers who stood out during the deployment," said Campbell, a native of Senatobia, Miss. "The NCOs wanted to remind every Soldier in the battalion that outstanding service is not always the result of a single act. It is the everyday practice of upholding the Army values."
1st Sgt. John Moyer said that Stegall embodies respect because he lives by the golden rule.
"Respect is treating people as they should be treated, treating them as you would like them to treat you," said Moyer, a native of Tutwiler, Miss. "Sergeant Stegall is a leader who gives respect, who treats fellow Soldiers with dignity, and he inspires the same from them. This is not just the golden rule; it is at the core of military discipline and cohesion."
Moyer said he was proud to serve with Soldiers like Stegall.
"Sergeant Stegall is a person dedicated to excellence," said Moyer. "I've known him since he first joined the company, when he began as a student at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, majoring in finance. He is very tactically and technically sound, but he inspires other Soldiers more because of the respect he shows them. I have watched in make achieve the rank of sergeant in only four years, and his abiding respect and esteem for the Army and for fellow Soldiers has been a key to his rapid ascent. Soldiers like sergeant Stegall give old warriors like me hope for the future of the armed forces."
Stegall is an example to all the Soldiers around him, said Staff Sgt. Michael D. Hammons, a convoy commander and native of Bolivar, Tenn.
"Sergeant Stegall commands the respect of everyone around him because he respects himself," said Hammons. "He carries himself and conducts himself well. Look up the definition of respect in Webster's and you're likely to find his name at the end of it."
Hammons gave an example of how Stegall has distinguished himself.
"We had a 10-day mission that turned into a 30-day mission, and sergeant Stegall was the lead scout truck commander," said Hammons. "He didn't complain and didn't look to get out of that duty. His truck physically led all those missions, and he found us a route out of a tight situation more than once. His crew would follow him anywhere and so would the entire convoy because we trust and respect him."
Stegall said he was surprised by the recognition.
"This is a pretty big honor," said Stegall. "It feels strange to be singled out in front of everybody like this, and I'm not sure I deserve it. This recognition could have gone to a lot of guys in the company."