2004 Larry L. Strickland Educational Leadership Award 

SGM David J. Litteral is the chief instructor of the Department of Combat Medic Training, 232d Medical Battalion, Army Medical Department Center and School, Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. He supervises an educational staff of 242 military and 72 civilian instructors that train 6200 initial entry and basic NCO students annually.

He is a member of the National Association of Emergency Medical Services Educators and is credentialed by the state of Colorado as a post-secondary educator in Health Occupations. He also maintains certification as a Nationally Registered Medical Technician-Paramedic. SGM Litteral is pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Education through Wayland Baptist University. Last semester, he completed six semester hours while attaining a GPA of 4.0. This semester SGM Litteral is also taking six semester hours.

Upon assuming duties as Chief Instructor, SGM Litteral noted that the graduation rate for initial entry students was 72 percent. He immediately directed competency assessment testing for instructors and created a cadre development branch to enhance proficiency. Additionally, he established a system of study sessions throughout the course. As a result, the current average primary graduation rate (first time students) is 87 percent.

SGM Litteral, son of George and Mildred Litteral, was born in Cincinnati, OH on 21 July 1962. After graduating from Loveland High School in 1980, he joined the Ohio National Guard and attended Basic Training and AIT in the summer and fall of 1980. In 1981, SGM Litteral joined the Active Army as a Combat Medic.

SGM Litteral’s assignments include: Flight Medic and Platoon Sergeant, 571st Medical Detachment, Ft. Carson, CO; Air Ambulance Section Sergeant, 377th Medical Co, Taegu, Korea; Medical Section Leader, Cleveland Military Entrance Processing Station, Cleveland, OH; Operations NCO, DCSOPS, 18th Medical Command, Yongsan, Korea; and First Sergeant, United States Army School of Aviation Medicine.

SGM Litteral’s education includes: Basic and Advanced NonCommissioned Officer Courses, EMT Basic and Paramedic Training, and undergraduate work toward a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education through Wayland Baptist University. He is a graduate of the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy, Class 53.

SGM Litteral’s awards and decorations include: Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (4th Award), Army Commendation Medal (4th Award), Joint Service Achievement Medal (2nd Award), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, and Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. He also wears the Senior Aviation Badge, the Expert Field Medical Badge, and the Gold German Army Shooting Medal (Shutzenschnuer). In 2000, he was inducted into the Order of Military Medical Merit.

SGM Litteral and his wife, the former Charlene Austin, have three children, David, Charles (SPC, U.S. Army), and Nadine.

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SGM David J. Litteral's Acceptance Remarks, 2004 AUSA Annual Meeting, October 25, 2004.

Sergeant Major of the Army Preston, Former Sergeants Major of the Army, Command Sergeant Major Retired Spencer, General Officers, Command Sergeants Major, fellow soldiers, past and present: It is truly an honor for me to be here today to receive this award. To the friends and family of SGM Strickland, you have chosen such a fitting way to remember him by establishing this award in his honor.

In addition, I’d like to say thank you to AUSA for administering the SGM Larry Strickland Memorial Scholarship Fund. Administering this award is just one of the many ways AUSA supports our Army. CSM (Retired) Spencer, thank you for your continued leadership. I never thought I would be on a stage with you in Washington receiving an award, but then again, I didn’t think I would see Red Sox win the World Series either.

I want to thank my Brigade Command Sergeant Major, Mike Kelley not just for nominating me but for being there for me and with me while training the 91Ws. Picture the thoughts going through a classroom full of AIT students when they find out that their weekend studyhall is going to be run by a Sergeant Major and a Command Sergeant Major, both of whom are still certified EMTs.

I am proud to have my Battalion Commander here today. He plays a vital role in the training of the 91Ws both as commander and true supporter of the program. LTC Edgar and COL Hastings, who have provided the medical direction for me and our program, I thank you both. I am in awe of the dedication put forth by the 91W instructors who do so every day. I’d like to say thanks to all of my past commanders some of who are here today. Great Americans like Mike Weimer, Rick Agosta, and Major General Kathy Frost (who commands AAFES with such style and grace). I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my mom who pounded into my head at a young age, “a job worth doing is worth doing right.”

Being motivated to go to work and train medics is easy for me. A few weekends ago, my battalion commander and I attended a Purple Heart Ceremony at Brook Army Medical Center. Specialist Lynn Myers, B Co, 1-5th Cav, 1st Cav Division, had been shot by a sniper while on patrol in Iraq. The bullet from an AK47 severed his femoral artery as it came out of his abdomen. Spc Myers’ fellow soldiers administered buddy aid until the combat lifesaver could get to him and get the bleeding slowed and evacuate Myers to a place where his life could be saved. Myers lost a lot of blood. The soldiers in his company rolled up their sleeves and gave blood at the hospital to help save SPC Myers. 19 days after he was shot, after evacuation from the CSH to Landstuhl to Brook, he was able to stand next to his young wife, his mom, and his dad, while Brigadier General Fox awarded him the Purple Heart.

By the way, that day was his 22nd birthday. As he stood there on somewhat shaky legs the General asked him to say a few words. That young specialist said there was no doubt in his mind when he got hit, that his Joes would take care of him; that the Combat Lifesavers (that he had trained) would take care of him. You see, SPC Myers was the medic on the patrol. His Joes saved his life. He told the small group in his hospital room, “there is no greater honor, than serving on the front lines with the Infantry as a Combat Medic.” Ladies and Gentlemen, for me and my team there is no greater responsibility than to continue to train and produce world class medics like SPC Lynn Myers. I only ask that you help to continue their education when we give them to you. The 91W is the cornerstone of the Army Medical Department transformation. The 91W is not a fire and forget weapon system. They require sustainment of their medical skills and knowledge to keep them qualified to support the Army.

In closing I would like to say, although I did not have the privilege of knowing SGM Strickland, I am proud to share in his heritage. Leadership and Education go hand in hand. One of my mentors told me, “Never let the phrase, ‘taking care of soldiers’ become a cliché.” Educating soldiers is but one way of taking care of soldiers. SGM Larry Strickland believed in education, thank you again for giving me this opportunity to continue his legacy.