OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (Jan. 14, 2013) -- The U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno presented coins to Soldiers from the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade "Dragons" here, Jan. 11, recognizing their various accomplishments.

The general congratulated 11 Soldiers, representing Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 35th ADA Brigade, 2nd Battalion, 1st ADA Regiment and 6th Battalion, 52nd ADA Regiment.

Among the awardees was Cpl. Kwon, Jun-Hee, of Battery E, 2-1st ADA. He is a Korean Augmentee to the U.S. Army, or KATUSA. He won his unit's KATUSA Best Warrior of the Year competition and will go on to compete at the brigade level.

Kwon noted the significance of meeting such a senior U.S officer but also shared his thoughts on his part in the U.S. and South Korean friendship.

"It is important to me to make small memories with the U.S. Soldiers. So, [when they move back to the U.S.,] they can remember Korea and smile," said Kwon.

Other Soldiers' accomplishments included performing at levels well above their rank, excellence in physical fitness and volunteerism, to name a few.

Following the informal awards ceremony, Odierno dined with the senior command and staff team of the Dragon Brigade as well as the awardees.

Several spouses attended and Odierno conveyed his gratitude for their dedication. His wife, Linda Odierno, presented them with lapel pins as a token of appreciation.

The discussion covered a range of topics within the military today including benefits, intramural sports, character and the profession of arms.

Odierno expressed his confidence in today's Army and the way ahead.

"We are the best army in the world," said Odierno "We will be tomorrow. We will always be the best army in the world."

This was the final stop in a two-day visit to the Republic of Korea that included visits to Yongsan in Seoul and at Camp Casey, situated to the north, near the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.