Kentucky National Guard Chaplain first to be nominated for General Douglas MacArthur Leadership award

By:  Stacy Floden, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

Chaplain Capt. Tyler Shields participating in the WWII Memorial ceremony in Jackson, Ky., July 13, 2019 (courtesy photo)

BURLINGTON, Ky. – He joined the Kentucky National Guard right out of high school in 2006 as an 11B-Infantryman and then branched as a field artillery officer after college. After attending seminary, Capt. Joshua Tyler Shields branched into the Chaplain corps.  And now he has been nominated as the 2019 General Douglas MacArthur Leadership award for Kentucky.

“This outstanding young Soldier will go forward and compete nationally, amongst his peers from each state for the prestigious General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award,” said Brig. Gen. Hal Lamberton, Kentucky’s adjutant general.  “He is among the best officers that our organization has to offer and we are confident that he will represent Kentucky with the highest degree of excellence.”

A total of 28 awards are distributed across the active Army, National Guard and Army Reserves.  For the Army National Guard division, only seven officers will be selected for the nationwide award (6 officers and 1 warrant officer).

“Being nominated for this award is a tremendous honor which I don’t take lightly. There are several exceptional company-grade officers in the 103rd Company Battalion and across the state,” said Shields.  “For me, as a battalion chaplain, to receive this nomination is humbling.”

Chaplain Shields is the first Kentucky National Army Guard chaplain ever nominated for the MacArthur award.

“His accomplishment is a testimony of the quality of chaplains who serve in the Kentucky Army National Guard Chaplain Corps,” said Col. Jay Padgett Kentucky National Guard state chaplain.  “Tyler is the epitome of a Soldier’s chaplain whose character and competence undergird his caring and calling as a servant-leader.  To say that we are proud of Chaplain Shields is an understatement.”

The nomination process consists of the brigades sending packets to the state level where they are reviewed.  The candidates go before a board where they are questioned about themselves, Gen. McArthur and leadership. Then the state adjutant general selects one individual to compete at the national level.

“Captain Shields was an easy choice as our nominee.   He is a combat multiplier who represents what is best about our battalion and the Kentucky National Guard,” stated Maj. Joseph Fontanez, 103rd Chemical Battalion administrative officer.  “His connections to Soldiers, families, and the community are unparalleled.  We are very excited he was selected as the best officer among a phenomenal group of leaders and look forward to his performance at the national level.”

Shields is very involved with his community.  He volunteers with several programs and organizations that help feed, clothe and love on some of the less fortunate in the state, particularly in the southeast.  “Over the years, I have tried to take advantage of different training opportunities and that has given me a well-rounded resume. Other than that, I try to do my job to best of my ability for our Soldiers and their families. I’m here for them.  I don’t do the work for recognition or accolades, but if you do your job well for the right reasons those things will sometimes follow.”

Shields will now compete with his peers from the other states and territories at the national level.  The program was introduced in 1987 to recognize company-grade officers who demonstrate the ideals for which General MacArthur stood – duty, honor and country. 

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