By Ms. Jacqueline Boucher (AMC)March 9, 2011
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, PA. -An Army Reserve noncommissioned officer (NCO) received the latest 2011 Warfighter of the Quarter Award for work performed while deployed to Iraq.
Staff Sgt. Joel Soriano led a team of trained civilians and military members responsible for providing communications to Camp Ramadi and tenant warfighter units.
The quarterly award recognizes military personnel for outstanding service and is designed to strengthen bonds between the Tobyhanna Army Depot work force and the military personnel they support.
"I find the ability to provide reliable means of communications very rewarding," Soriano said. "At the end of the day, my work has helped commanders and warfighters support their missions effectively across the battlefield."
While deployed, Soriano served as the Direct Signal Support Team (DSST) noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC), where he "earned the reputation as one of the best NCOs in the battalion," according to 1st Sgt. Kenneth Aten, Bravo Company, 392nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, Pennsylvania Army Reserve. Aten is also a work leader in the Communications Systems Directorate.
"He showed professional knowledge, sound judgment and an ability to work without supervision," Aten said. "In the absence of an officer in charge, Soriano supervised the base communication architecture and network posture, improving it by consistently recommending changes."
Soriano, the fifth recipient of the award, has deployed twice to Iraq during his military career. He is also assigned to Bravo Company.
The sergeant attributes his success to the support of his team. He noted that through hard work, the group was able to improve reliability, project management procedures, continuity and workflow.
Soriano made sure he employed all possible resources available to him and his team, according to Aten, adding that the team was able to provide uninterrupted communications for more than 1,000 warfighters.
"The great combination of skills, knowledge and determination had an impact on the level of service we provided," Soriano said. "I would not have been able to succeed without [the personnel assigned to the unit]."
It was the cable team's first mission that set the stage for the rest of the deployment. Shortly after arriving in country, Soriano remembered the team being tasked with repairing a severed 24-strand fiber optic cable that serviced 30 percent of the camp.
"This was a top priority and employed all available personnel to support the work area until the job was completed," Soriano said. "In the end, the team and I were exhausted, confident and had built a good working relationship with each other."
Prior to the award ceremony, Depot Sgt. Maj. Kelvin Spencer got a chance to talk to Tobyhanna's newest Warfighter of the Quarter.
"What stood out the most, as I talked with him, was his loyalty to his team and how he emphasized placing the needs of his Soldiers and the unit above his own," Spencer said. "He's just completed his second tour to Iraq, he possesses that 'take-charge' attitude Soldiers admire in a leader and he has an exceptional grasp on military and professional knowledge."
Soriano always knows what his Soldiers are doing and prides himself on assisting them with what he, his unit and the Army wants them to be, according to the sergeant major.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department's largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna's missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.
About 5,600 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army CECOM Life Cycle Management Command. Headquartered at Fort Monmouth, N.J., the command's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.