Salutes & Awards

July 12, 2012

Two 717th MI Battalion Soldiers grab top grad honors

By Gregory Ripps
470th Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs

Two 717th Military Intelligence Battalion Soldiers led the way by garnering top academic honors in the Noncommissioned Officers Academy Warrior Leader Course.

Sgt. James Kirscht, a signals intelligence analyst/reporter, was the Distinguished Honor Graduate and Spc. Scott Bilich, a technical leader/signals intelligence analyst, was the Honor Graduate for WLC Class 09-12, a 26-day course that concluded in June.

“We have never had two Soldiers from the same battalion in the top four before,” said Theresa Foster, executive assistant to the Noncommissioned Officers Academy, Fort Hood, Texas. “It was quite an honor.”

But that wasn’t all. They both scored 99.6 percent.

“Their scores were exact – another rarity,” Foster continued. “In order to determine the winner, they had to do a face-off using the Best Warrior Exam [from the Best Warrior Competition on Fort Hood]. … Sergeant Kirscht practically aced it.”

The WLC’s objectives are to graduate students who are technically and tactically proficient, make sound decisions, plan correctly, follow the professional Army ethic, communicate effectively, teach and counsel and apply Soldier-team development.

The 717th, a subordinate battalion of the 470th MI Brigade, selected Kirscht and Bilich to attend WLC because they had demonstrated potential for leadership as NCOs. Both have served in the Army for about three years.

Kirscht said he thought he did well in the course because other NCOs in the battalion who previously attended the course passed on their knowledge to him to enable him to succeed.

“The NCOs in my company made sure I was properly equipped and trained to be the best Soldier I can be,” said Kirscht, who joined the battalion two years ago. “The material from the online Structured Self Development course was a great means of preparing for the WLC,” he added.

Bilich said his squad leader sat down with him and outlined what he should expect when he attended the course. In addition, he had completed the Junior Leader Development Course in August 2011.

“This helped me in the basic understanding of team building, leadership and Army writing style,” said Bilich, who was assigned to the 717th in September 2010.

What did they take away from the WLC?

“The course gave me more confidence in my ability as a leader,” Bilich said. “It gives you a chance to showcase how you feel an NCO should react and lead, from day-to-day in garrison or out in the field in a combat situation.”

The biggest value of attending the course to Kirscht was “being able to interact with all the various military occupational specialties in the Army in a structured and educational environment.” He explained, “This allowed me to gain insight into the rest of what makes the Army a working unit.”

Both the Distinguished Honor Graduate and the Honor Graduate received the Army Achievement Medal, a certificate of achievement from the III Corps command sergeant major, a “Wooden Soldier” plaque with the Soldiers Creed inside, a WLC certificate, and a plaque from Pioneer Services (a finance company that serves the military). In addition, the Distinguished Honor Graduate received an eagle plaque inscribed with his name.

I am humbled … to receive this distinction,” said Kirscht. “It gave me the chance both to lead from the front and to lead by example. I want to ensure my Soldiers are as prepared and ready for success [as I was].”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Clay and Laura Murray

First major Arizona wildfire of 2014 burns in Huachuca Mountains

Clay and Laura Murray This photo of the Brown Fire was taken on Monday evening from Mott Circle on Fort Huachuca. As of Fort Huachuca Scout press time Thursday, firefighters were still working to contain it. A wildfire, the Bro...
 
 

FH renewable energy project to provide approximately 25 percent of installation’s annual electricity requirement

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Army announced Monday plans to start development of a solar array that will provide about 25 percent of the annual installation electricity requirement of Fort Huachuca. “This will be the largest solar array in the Department of Defense on a military installation,” according to the Honorable Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary...
 
 

2014 Army Earth Day message

On April 22, the United States Army joins the Nation in celebrating Earth Day. Army Earth Day provides us an opportunity to renew our commitment to stewardship of the environment and the lands where our Soldiers, Families and Civilians train, live and work. Army Earth Day aims to inspire awareness and appreciation of the environment....
 

 
Gabrielle Kuholski

Post celebrates Days of Remembrance with observance ceremony, discussion panels

Gabrielle Kuholski William Heidner, museum curator for the Museum Activity and Heritage Center of the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz., receives a Buffalo Soldier statuette from Col. Jeffrey Jennings, U.S. Army Intell...
 
 
Maranda Flynn

AAFES making small changes for customer satisfaction

Maranda Flynn L&A Southern Style Bar-B-Q, currently located inside Armed Forces Bank, will be relocating to the food court inside the Fort Huachuca Exchange in the next few months. It will replace Manchu Wok, which is clos...
 
 
Courtesy of Glenn Gaskins

Son of Army retirees is top of his league

Courtesy of Glenn Gaskins Najee Gaskins, 16, participates in the Arizona Junior Fall Classic, a baseball showcase held last October in Peoria, Ariz. Playing second base position, he ranks number four in the state and 60th in th...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin