Kentucky Guard engineer leads the Pack

MJO

Article by Sgt. 1st Class Brian D. Hovis, 201st Engineer Battalion Photos by 1st Lt. Michael Vaughan

1st Lt. Dustin Pack, 577th Sapper Company, treads water during the unit's combat water survival test at the YMCA in Ashland, Ky., Feb. 5.

The National Guard Bureau has announced Kentucky National Guard 1st Lt. Dustin Pack, 577th Sapper Company, will receive one of the Army’s top engineer awards for 2011.

Pack was will receive the 2011 Engineer Platoon Leader of the Year award during an annual Engineer Regiment awards ceremony April 9.

Each year, the regiment honors the top engineers of each Army component, and presents the award at the Engineer Regimental Ball at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

“I’m so proud of 1st Lt. Pack,” said Maj. James B. Richmond, 201st Engineer Battalion executive officer.  “He is an outstanding young officer who brings pride to the 201st and the Kentucky National Guard.

“He embodies the versatility and technical expertise that the Engineer Corps is known for,” Richmond said.

Pack served as the detachment commander and platoon leader for 3rd Platoon, Detachment 1, 207th Horizontal Engineer Company based in Jackson, Ky., from May 2009 to October 2010.  Under his leadership, 3rd Platoon improved the Hidden Valley Training Site, responded to the 2010 floods in Eastern Kentucky and constructed roads and training areas at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany.

1st Lt. Justin Pack, 577th Sapper Company, shoots his weapon while Capt. Derrick Frodge, 201st Engineer Company, watches his technique at Northeast Fish and Game Club in Ashland, Ky.

“His dedication to his mission, the troops he leads and to the Engineer Corps is deep,” said Richmond.

That same drive and determination will be evident when Pack represents the Kentucky National Guard in the 2011 Best Sapper competition the first week in April. The three-day event at Fort Leonard Wood challenges Service members’ knowledge, physical abilities and mental fortitude.

“There is no doubt 1st Lt. Pack will go far,” Richmond said.

He ranked in the top three of Kentucky’s Best Sapper competition so it is possible he is a contender to place in the national competition.

After showing the Engineer Corps what Kentucky engineers are made of, Pack will transfer to the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 198th Military Police Company for a deployment with the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.

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