Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michelle Struemph, the secretary of general staff, and Maj. Tammy Spicer, the public affairs officer, received the Conspicuous Service Medal for their outstanding conspicuous service during Operation Show Me Southwest Twister in Joplin, Mo. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Sarah E. Lupescu, Missouri National Guard).
Sgt. Sarah E. Lupescu
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The year 2011 is quickly coming to a close, giving the Missouri National Guard a time to reflect on the many missions accomplished in the past 12 months during a town hall meeting at the Ike Skelton Training Site.
Maj. Gen. Stephen L. Danner, the Missouri National Guard's adjutant general and Chief of Staff, Col. Wendul Glenn Hagler II, thanked Missouri Guard Soldiers, Airmen and civilians during the meeting.
"It's been quite a year," said Hagler, who also serves as commander of the 70th Troop Command headquartered at historic Jefferson Barracks in south St. Louis County. "I don't know if you noticed or not, but we've had quite a bit of bad weather. We've done a number of things that fulfilled our calling. In fact, we're still under an executive order placing us in a state of emergency duty status."
What turned out to be a year of state emergency duty missions began in late January with a blizzard. In April, a tornado damaged the Missouri Air National Guard facility at Lambert Airport. Just a few days later, the Missouri Guard mobilized in support of flood response activities in southern and southeast Missouri. While Missouri Guardsmen were still serving on flood duty, a tornado hit Joplin on May 22 and the Missouri Guard was once again mobilized. A couple weeks later, the Governor mobilized even more Missouri National Guard Soldiers and Airmen to northwest Missouri to prepare for flooding along the Missouri River.
"Our job is to protect good people from bad things and we have done that throughout our state," Hagler said.
In addition to state missions, the Missouri National Guard had its focus on resiliency and readiness among its ranks.
"The state embarked on a strategic effort to create a culture of readiness throughout the Missouri National Guard, Army and Air, so that we can have the most individual ready Soldiers and Airmen that there are in our formations." Hagler said.
The Missouri National Guard's adjutant general expressed thanks and gratitude to Missouri's troops.
"I am very proud to serve with each and every one of you," said Danner. "We're a Family here, and that's what is first in my heart during this holiday season.
This Christmas and New Year, I want to dwell on all of our accomplishments and all of us being together as one," Danner added.
Several Soldiers received recognition for their hard work during 2011.
Maj. Tammy Spicer, the public affairs officer, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michelle Struemph, the secretary of general staff, received the Conspicuous Service Medal for their outstanding conspicuous service to the state of Missouri and the nation. They distinguished themselves during Operation Show Me Southwest Twister as action officers for Task Force Memorial through exceptional selfless service during operations to plan, prepare for, and execute a memorial service honoring the victims of an unprecedented and devastating tornado striking Joplin.
The Joplin Community Memorial Service, hosted by the state of Missouri, included participants from local church leaders, the governor of the state of Missouri, and the President of the United States.
Struemph and Spicer paid attention to meticulous details to ensure every aspect of the memorial service was supported in its entirety. They demonstrated a level of expertise, maturity, and willingness to put in the extra time and effort needed to accomplish any mission or task to ensure success.
"That was an exemplary effort in a short two or three day time span to get the service put together," Danner said.
Struemph also received the Meritorious Service Medal for meritorious service while serving as the secretary of the general's staff. She has proven that she can be depended upon to make quick and meticulous decisions in an ever-changing environment.
Lt. Col. Amy Anderson, the state training officer, received the National Guard Bureau Certificate of Service in recognition of 15 years of federal service.
Sgt. 1st Class Micheal Strayhorn received the Meritorious Service Medal for her exceptional meritorious service to the United States Army as the lead mobilization noncommissioned officer.
Sgt. Kathleen Kilby received the Missouri National Guard Accommodation Ribbon for outstanding achievement as a trainee during the human resources special reclassification course.
Bud, 91, a World War II veteran, and a janitor at the Sedalia armory, has worked for the Missouri National Guard for 27 years. He was recognized for his dedicated service to the Missouri Guard.
"Bud is an institution within our facility," said Lt. Col. Charlie Hausman, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Combat Action Brigade, 35th Infantry Division. "If you are ever in the Sedalia armory and you have the good fortune to run into Bud, I'd encourage you to take five minutes of your time to share a story with him. I guarantee that you will learn something and your day will be much better for it. We are very lucky to have Bud working with us every day."
Several Soldiers also received the Army Physical Fitness Badge. The badge is awarded to those who score a 270 and above on the physical fitness test.
Col. James Allison, Maj. Brian Miller, Capt. Nathan Wilde, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michelle Struemph, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Daniel Eagan, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Mitchell Simpson, Sgt. Maj. Tina Sultzman, Master Sgt. Jeremy Cobb, Staff Sgt. Timothy Glavin, Staff Sgt. Amanda Kasa, and Sgt. Todd Stark received the PT badge.
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Bud, 91, a World War II veteran, and a janitor at the Sedalia armory, has worked for the Missouri National Guard for 27 years. He was recognized for his dedicated service to the Missouri Guard. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Sarah E. Lupescu).
(l to r) Staff Sgt. Timothy Glavin, Sgt. Todd Stark, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Daniel Eagan, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Mitchell Simpson, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michelle Struemph, Col. James Allison, Capt. Nathan Wilde, Staff Sgt. Amanda Kasa, Sgt. Maj. Tina Sultzman, Master Sgt. Jeremy Cobb, and Maj. Brian Miller were presented the Army Physical Fitness Badge by Maj. Gen. Stephen Danner, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Sarah E. Lupescu, Missouri National Guard).