By Sgt. Nicole Kojetin, 1st Cav. Div. Public AffairsApril 2, 2008
FORT HOOD, Texas - Many sections of the Army, have awards unique to their field. For the information technology professionals of the Signal Corps Regiment Association, it is an honor to be inducted into the Bronze Order of Mercury.
Five Soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Division's communications section or "G-6" were given medals for the Bronze Order of Mercury during a ceremony at the Fort Hood Battle Simulation Center on Fort Hood March 25.
"When we present these awards it is not just to wear these big flashy medals at (military) balls..." said Col. Sylvester Cotton, the assistant chief of staff, G-6 from Coffeeville, Missippi, before the Soldiers had the brightly colored medals hung around their necks, "...it is not because (the Soldier) did something great for their unit, but it is because they did something great for the signal corps regiment."
Maj. Edward Kendall, G-6 networking officer; Chief Warrant Officer 3 David Banks, G-6 network management technician; Master Sgt. Anthony Marcus, G-6 network operations noncommissioned officer-in-charge Master Sgt. Rodolfo Rico, G-6 NETOPS spectrum manager and Staff Sgt. Shannon Bowling, G6 enhanced position location reporting system manager, recieved their medals from Brig. Gen. (P) Vincent K. Brooks, the commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division.
"We did not suffer for command control, communications, computers or the break down of any of those," said Brooks who hails from Alexandria, Va., to the awardees and their comrades in the audience. "We did not suffer that at all, even as complex as our operations became in Iraq, because of the work you did."
The troops also knew the importance of keeping open the lines of information flowing as well.
"Signal plays a huge role in today's battlefield," Kendall said. "Everybody from the (forward operating base) on the ground to the commander in his (tactical operations center) needs communications. Without them, it is hard to get across the mission statement and what is (happening) on the ground."
Perhaps that knowledge is what keeps them going, but for the Grand Island, New York native, it is more than that.
"I enjoy my job, to see what my Soldiers can accomplish. It is just amazing to see how they keep up with today's demands of technology," said Kendall, who has been a "signaler" for the last nine years. "The communication field is expanding so rapidly that every step they reach is another goal in cross training."
He was proud of his Soldiers and was also proud to receive the Bronze order of Mercury.
"It's a great honor to join the ranks of fellow signalers who have done so much for the Signal Corps and provided communications to the warfighter on the ground," Kendall said. "It means a lot to me and the others who were inducted."