Story by Capt. Andrew Layton
Michigan National Guard
GRAYLING, Mich. -- Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan National Guard at the newly-minted National All-Domain Warfighting Center at Camp Grayling for the 2020 Pass and Review Ceremony on July 31, 2020.
"I'm honored to be a part of this ceremony and celebrate our dedicated Michigan National Guardsmen and women," said Governor Whitmer. "This year especially, the Michigan National Guard has responded to multiple crises with honor and dedication to help aid communities across our state.”
The Pass in Review Ceremony is a time-honored tradition of the Michigan National Guard during which accomplishments of the previous calendar year are acknowledged, outstanding performers are recognized, and deceased and fallen members of the Michigan National Guard are honored.
“Today we gather to pay solemn respect to those Michigan National Guard members who have passed in the last twelve months; in their honor, we also celebrate the accomplishments of the Michigan National Guard during this historic year of 2020, assisting communities across the state with professionalism and exceptional, compassionate service,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, Adjutant General and Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “Additionally, we recognize the successful completion of Northern Strike 20 here at the National All-Domain Warfighting Center. The work we do here sets conditions for future readiness of the joint force, and is incredibly relevant to our national security.”
The Michigan National Guard has a long-standing reputation for mission success, which has never been more true than in 2020. Even while hundreds of Soldiers and Airmen are deployed supporting overseas missions, the Michigan National Guard has been an important part of emergency operations across the state, including COVID-19 response missions, recovery operations after the Edenville and Sanford dams failed in May, and community support to ensure the right to peacefully protest in the face of civil unrest.
Over the last two weeks of July, the Michigan National Guard has hosted Northern Strike 20, a premier joint fires readiness exercise, at Camp Grayling and Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center. With nearly 148,000 acres of combined training space, the pristine training facilities of the Michigan National Guard are being renamed the National All-Domain Warfighting Center in acknowledgement of the crucial support these locations in Northern Michigan contribute to the U.S. National Defense Strategy.
Annual award recipients honored during the ceremony include:
Michigan Army National GuardCommissioned Officer of the Year: Capt. Andrew Turner, HHB 1-182d Field Artillery BattalionWarrant Officer of the Year: CW2 Amber Burgess, 631st Troop Command DetachmentNon-Commissioned Officer of the Year: Staff Sgt. Nicholas Nunn, Bravo Battery, 1-119th Field Artillery RegimentSoldier of the Year: Spc. Tyler Royston, HHB 1-119th Field Artillery RegimentSteward Medal: Staff Sgt. Matthew Rogalski, 156th Expeditionary Signal BattalionHonor Guard of the Year: Sgt. Philip Brooks, 1433rd Engineer CompanySupply Excellence Award: 1776th Military Police Co., Taylor, Mich.Rasmus Hanson Award: Sgt. Samuel P. Kneibel, Charlie Company 1-147th Aviation Regiment
Michigan Air National Guard:Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year: Senior Master Sgt. Joseph M. Crocker, 127th WingNon-Commissioned Officer of the Year: Tech. Sgt. Patricia K. Boyer, Alpena Combat Readiness Training CenterAirman of the Year: Staff Sgt. Courtney E. Michaels, 110th WingFirst Sgt. of the Year: Master Sgt. Ronald D. Tyrl, 110th Wing