Kentucky Field Artillery unit receives prestigious award for second year in a row

Story by Sgt. Bryan Ploughe, 1st Battalion, 623d Field Artillery Unit Public Affairs Historian Representative

1/623rd Award

Lt. Col. Timothy Fanter, the 1/623rd Battalion Commander, presents an award plaque to Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Campbell, a firing battery platoon sergeant, during a formation at Fort Knox, Ky., May 20, 2012. Bravo Battery, 1/623rd was awarded the annual Alexander Hamilton Award, recognizing the unit as the most outstanding field artillery unit in the National Guard. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Sgt. Bryan Ploughe, 1st Battalion, 623d Field Artillery Unit Public Affairs Historian Representative/Released)

FORT KNOX, Ky. — The Alexander Hamilton Award annually recognizes an outstanding Kentucky Army National Guard Field Artillery Battery for superb mission accomplishment and overall unit excellence. This year the 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery achieved a remarkable feat by capturing this award for the second straight year.  The award was presented to Bravo Battery, which is located in Campbellsville, Ky.

“We were first notified about this in December of 2011, and it seemed somewhat surreal,” said Sgt. 1st Class James Rogers.  “For our battalion to receive this award for two consecutive years is remarkable. This is truly a reflection of the quality Soldiers that we have in this battalion and this great Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

Lt. Col. Timothy Fanter, 1/623rd commander said bringing the award back to Kentucky could be a historical event.

”This is a tremendous accomplishment for not only Bravo Battery, the 2011 Alexander Hamilton Award winner which recognizes them as the best National Guard Field Artillery Battery, but for also for the battalion as the 2010 Alexander Hamilton Award winner was Alpha Battery,” said Fanter.  “When the award was presented to Capt. Carlson at Fort Sill, Okla., during the 2012 Fires Conference, many of the active and National Guard field artillerymen commented that this was the first time they could recall the same battalion winning the award two years in a row.  Congratulations to Bravo for this tremendous recognition.”

To be considered for this award, units are required to submit their statistics in such areas as physical readiness, command inspections, safety, Soldier care, weapons qualification and unit strength, just to name a few. When these categories are submitted and evaluated with other units, it is then determined, as to which unit will become the recipient of the annual award.

“Bravo Battery, 1/623rd field artillery is a solid unit and continues to perform in a professional manner,” said Col. Brian Wertzler, the 138th Fires Brigade Commander. “I am grateful that they have been recognized for the prestigious Alexander Hamilton award, honoring their achievements and further complimenting their efforts.”

Bravo battery had one of the most challenging years in recent history. Not only do these Soldiers have to focus on their duties as described by their job responsibilities, but they are also very active in their communities as well as state. The “Stallion Warriors” conducted 16 state active-duty missions of various types in support of the following counties, Taylor, Marion, Green and Adair. The missions that they accomplished ranged anywhere from community support at fairs to disaster relief in flooded areas.

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