Kentucky Soldier named Sniper School Honor Graduate

JAK

By Maj. Jeff Cole/ Executive Officer 1-149th Infantry

Sgt. Leonard Coleman recently was the honor graduate from Army's sniper school at Ft. Benning, Ga., earlier this year.

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (June 8, 2010)— Sgt. Leonard Coleman, Headquarters Headquarters Company (HHC) 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry, was named honor graduate at the Army’s sniper school at Fort Benning, Ga., earlier this year and also named noncommissioned officer of the year for his battalion.

Coleman joined the Kentucky National Guard in January 2009 and was assigned to the sniper section upon his request. As a former Marine his decision was made to re-enlist into the Infantry Battalion to further serve his country.  Since January 2009 he has completed some of the hardest schools available to Soldiers.   Being named honor graduate of his sniper class was an incredible feat for a young Soldier from the National Guard.

Coleman’s commander, Capt. Robert Andersen, said his dedication, vigilance and motivation to succeed are traits that he looks for in every one of his Soldiers.

“He truly is a role model to all the young Soldiers, not only in HHC but to the entire Battalion,” said Andersen.

Coleman said his training refreshed basic tactical knowledge skills and gave him advanced skills he can teach subordinates to become better coaches and mentors to Kentucky Guardsmen.

“Long range engagement is what the troops in Afghanistan are mostly facing,” Coleman said.  “With a weapon system like the M110 (7.62 mm Sniper Rifle) it gives us the ability to engage without endangering ourselves to direct hostile fire,” he explained.

Since returning from his last course, Coleman has been eager to apply his knowledge to his duties in the unit and is excited about leading his sniper team once again. He looks forward to getting back in the field, but at the same time is looking ahead. Coleman is already looking at other opportunities the National Guard can offer.

“I’m looking forward to successfully completing the Warrior Leaders Course, Pathfinder, and the Special Forces Assessment and Selection course in the future,” Coleman said.

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