The Association of the United States Army, in conjunction with the National Guard Association of the United States and the Reserve Officers Association, presented the annual Walter T. Kerwin Jr. Award to units from the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.
The presentations were made by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Army chief of staff, and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Luncheon held during the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Oct. 6.
The Kerwin Award for readiness and training for the outstanding Army National Guard unit for training year 2008 was presented to the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Wisconsin Army National Guard.
This battalion, currently deployed to Iraq, has had two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has numerous accomplishments to include the establishment of a premier, bilateral correction officer training academy which is facilitating the transfer of detainee operations and performing assessments of Iraqi correctional facilities to assist the government in meeting international standards.
The award was accepted by Lt. Col. Leland D. Ward, battalion commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Ralph Rosemore Jr.
The Kerwin Award for the outstanding U.S. Army Reserve unit was presented to the 4224th United States Army Hospital, U.S. Army Reserve, Des Moines, Iowa.
This hospital supports on-going overseas contingency operations and CONUS pre-mobilization soldier readiness processing by providing trained and ready medical professionals.
It has participated in medical missions on the USS Comfort, in Honduras, at Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii, and at Fort McCoy, Wis.
Col. Donna J. Dolan, commander, and Sgt. Maj. Denise Dial accepted the award.
Kerwin, for whom the award is named, is a former Army vice chief of staff who served as the first commander of U.S. Army Forces Command when it was established in 1976.
The command was charged with ensuring the readiness and training of all Army units in the United States.
Kerwin died on July 11, 2008. He dedicated himself and his command to the task of training and preparing for war not only the active component, but also reserve component – Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve, units on which the Army must depend in a seamless environment.
The award plaques are engraved: "These Citizen-Soldiers have been Chosen as the Nation’s Best."