Home : Features : 2012 : Outstanding Soldiers and Airmen of the Year : Army : Regional Winners
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Region I - Sgt. First Class Vanessa Urban - Massachusetts National Guard

Currently, I am serving at JFHQ Massachusetts, which is located in Milford, MA. I was born in Fall River, Massachusetts. I graduated B.M.C Durfee High School in 1998. I enlisted in the MA ARNG in 1998. After attending Basic Training in Fort Jackson, SC in 1999, I moved on to AIT in Fort Lee, VA and studied/trained to become a Food Service Specialist “ 92G. My first assignment location was the HHB 42ND D-ARTY - DET 1 & 2 in October 1998. I have an Associates in Arts and a Bachelors in Business Administration with a major in Organizational Management from Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, NJ.

As of today, I have not had the experience of deployment. I like to believe that I was chosen to represent my unit in the Massachusetts Best Warrior Competition because of my dedication and hard work to and for the MA ARNG. Winning the Massachusetts and Region 1 NCO of the Year demonstrates that no matter how difficult the situation or how many obstacles that get in the way, I will accomplish my mission. "Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure." - George Edward Woodberry

I am a member of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. I also am very interested in charity work of all kinds. Most recent charities are Operation Smile, Children's Hospital Boston and Africa Yoga Project, and CrossFit for Hope at St. Jude's Children's Research.

DECORATIONS AND AWARDS: Army Achievement Medal w/2d OLC, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal w/3d OLC, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserves Medal w/Bronze Hourglass, NCO Professional Development Ribbon w/numeral 3, Army Service Ribbon, MA ARNG Service Medal, Massachusetts Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer Ribbon, MA Emergency Service Ribbon w/2d Bronze Service Star.

Official Citation (City of Fall River), Official Resolution (City of Fall River), Certificate of Achievement (3), Certificate of Appreciation (2), Camp Edwards Training Site NCO of the Year 2007.


Region I - Spc. Clay J. Landry - Maine National Guard

Landry is in the current process of going through his first mobilization.  The reason he was nominated was Landry has shown the unit that he is dependable, highly motivated, with great physical fitness and solid military bearing since his first drill with the unit.

I like to play football, love running in road races. I have completed a 20 mile run for the Fallen, participated in half marathons and a ruck march for the fallen marathon. I have my purple belt in Mixed Martial Arts.  I am a member of USAA, am involved with a neighborhood watch, and for two summers I participated with the local police department MET team and completed ride-alongs with them.

Awards and decorations are:
National Defense Service Medal
Army Service ribbon
MEARNG SOY Award (3)
MEARNG Physical Fitness Award (2)


Region II - Staff Sgt. Brian J. Reighard Jr. - Pennsylvania National Guard

I am currently serving in the 3rd Battalion 166th Regiment in the Warrior Leader Course in Annville, Pennsylvania as a 00F38, Instructor.  I was born 12 November 1985 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and attended Ferndale Area High School where I graduated from in 2004.  I enlisted in the military my junior year of high school and attended OSUT Basic/AIT at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri to become a 12B, Combat Engineer and became a squad member at the 876th Engineer Company in Johnstown.  I currently have my Associates Degree in Computer Aided Drafting and Civil Engineering from Penn Highlands Community College.

I deployed with the 876th Engineer Company from 2005 to 2006 to Ar Ramadi, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where I served as a lead M2 gunner team member. I received an Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the Combat Action Badge on this deployment.  I also deployed with the 856th Engineer Company from 2008-2009 to Taji, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where I served as a squad leader.  I received an Army Achievement Medal on this deployment. Won the NCO of the quarter award twice, in TY 12. Selected to compete in the Battalion NCO of the year board after receiving recommendations from all 6 Senior Small Group Leaders and a final recommendation from the 3rd BN 166th REGT Commandant.  Competed in the NCO of the Quarter, Battalion NCO of the year, Regimental NCO of the year, JFHQ NCO of the year, State Best Warrior Competition and the Region II Best Warrior Competition; finishing first at all levels of each competition.  Also graduated from Advanced Leader Course and Senior Leader Course by Exceeding Course Standards and being chosen as the Honor Graduate.

I am currently the head coach of the Hershey Junior Bears Disabled Sled hockey team for the Harrisburg/Hershey, Pennsylvania.  Active ice/roller hockey player in Harrisburg, PA.  Team Captain for the Regimental Tough Mudder Team and team member on the Regimental Army 10 Miler Team for 2 years in a row.

Army Commendation Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Achievement Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal w/ 2 Campaign Stars, NCO Professional Development Ribbon w/ numeral 3, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/ M Device, General Thomas J. Stewart Medal, Major General Thomas J. White Medal, Combat Action Badge, Drivers and Mechanic Badge with Tracked, Wheeled, and Special Equipment Clasps, Meritorious Unit Citation, Navy Unit Citation, Governor Unit Citation.


Region III - SPC Isaac H. Chestnut - South Carolina National Guard

Specialist Isaac H. Chestnut is serving with the 1222nd Engineer Company, 178th Engineer Battalion, 59th Troop Command located in Fort Mill, SC. He was born and raised in Conway, SC. He attended Carolina Forest High School and is currently a senior at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina and will graduate with a bachelor degree in Business Administration this December.

Specialist Chestnut enlisted in the South Carolina Army National Guard in July of 2007.  He completed basic training and AIT the following summer at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. He deployed to Afghanistan with the 1222nd Engineer Company for Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009-2010. There he demonstrated his personal courage and duty to his unit and country, as a member of a Counter-IED route clearance team that conducted daily missions in Panjwai District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. He also served as a dismounted AN/PSS-14 operator, driver, and machine gunner.

Specialist Chestnut competed at company, battalion, and brigade level to represent the largest MSC in South Carolina, 59th Troop Command, in the state level Soldier of the Year Competition. After competing and winning the state level title he went on to compete at the Region III Soldier of the Year Competition. He competed against Soldiers from nine other states in a rigorous four-day competition and won the title to represent Region III in the Best Warrior Competition at Fort Benning, Ga. Once again, his accomplishments demonstrate exceptional loyalty and dedication to the South Carolina Army National Guard.

Specialist Chestnut epitomizes selfless service and respect for others, demonstrated by serving on six humanitarian aid missions in support of the citizens and families of West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Mexico, and Jamaica. The missions were to support families living in substandard conditions.

Specialist Chestnut has accomplished many things that demonstrate his belief in upholding honor and integrity throughout his personal and military career. He has been awarded the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star// Army Achievement Medal//National Defense Service Medal//Global War on Terrorism Service Medal//Army Service Medal//Overseas Service Ribbon//Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” device//NATO Medal Star. Also, he is an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.


Region III - SSG Richard R Williams - Mississippi National Guard

SSG Williams is currently serving with 2 Combined Arms Battalion 198th Armor Regiment in Senatobia, MS. He was born in Memphis, TN, graduated from Hernando High School. SSG Williams enlisted in the Army in JUN of 2002 attending Infantry OSUT training a Fort Benning Georgia before being station in Baumholder, GE. SSG Williams is currently pursuing an associate's degree in History from Northwest Mississippi Community College.

SSG Williams has deployed twice for a total of over 26 months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served in multiple positions during these two deployments where he was recognized with numerous awards and decorations to include the Combat Infantryman's Badge and a Bronze Star. SSG Williams has won the 155 BCT NCO of the year competition 2 consecutive years and is the reigning Region 3 Best Warrior NCO winner.

SSG Williams volunteers his time coaching Upward Basketball and Little League Baseball where he coaches his son. He has three children and has been married for  7 years.

SSG Williams was recognized for his distinguished service by being awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star Service Medal, four Army Accommodation Medals, one Army Achievement medal, and two Mississippi Accommodation Medals. SSG Williams is Air Assault, Army Basic Instructor, and Battle Staff NCO qualified.


Region IV - SPC Jeremy P. Stotz - Illinois National Guard

SPC Jeremy Stotz is currently serving in A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 107th Cavalry, located in Greenville, Ohio.  SPC Stotz was born in Monroe, MI and graduated from Ida High School, MI in 2007.  SPC Stotz enlisted in the United States Army on 03 April 2008 and attended Basic Training and Cavalry Scout AIT at Fort Knox, KY. His first unit of assignment was with 2ID at Camp Casey, Korea.  SPC Stotz is currently attending University of Toledo in Ohio and is majoring in Bio-Medical Physics.

SPC Stotz completed an overseas tour in Haiti from January 2010 thru March 2010 with HHC, 2nd BSTB, 82nd Airborne.  SPC Stotz was selected as the Best Warrior/Soldier of the Year for his exemplary values and overall professionalism.  SPC Stotz has set an example that far exceeds his peers in physical fitness and military bearing, technical and tactical knowledge, and personal accountability.  He is the best of the best.

SPC Stotz' awards include the Army Commendation Medal (2nd Awd), the Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award),  Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Ohio Commendation Medal, Parachutist Badge, Expert Marksmanship Badge.


Region IV - SSG Beau D Detrick - Illinois National Guard

SSG Beau Detrick is currently a Recruiting and Retention NCO assigned to the 2nd Battalion 130th Infantry Headquarters and Headquarters Company in Marion Illinois. SSG Detrick was born in Jacksonville Illinois and graduated high school in 2002 from Bluffs High School in Bluffs Illinois. He joined the Illinois Army National Guard in July of 2005 and attended the Army’s 91B light-wheeled diesel mechanic course at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. His first assignment was Co C BSTB in Carbondale Illinois where he served as a 91B. SSG Detrick has received his Associates in Science Degree from Southeastern Illinois College with Honors on May 16th, 2008 and is currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Zoology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale Illinois. He is expected to be done in May of 2013.

1SG Joseph Brown nominated SSG Beau Detrick in August of 2011 and stated, “SSG Beau Detrick was nominated to compete in the Best Warrior Competition from November Company in 2011 because of his knowledge and dedication to the Army and its values. I was confident that SSG Detrick would represent the Army National Guard with the best results. SSG Detrick defines the Army Values and is a dedicated NCO that lives the NCO Creed. “

SSG Beau Detrick is an avid supporter of Wounded Warrior Project. Some of his civilian affiliations are Marion FFA Alumni Association, Elks Lodge 572, Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, Illinois Beekeeping Association, and First Baptist Church of Marion Illinois. He also volunteers his time at the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge talking to various groups about ecosystems and animals native to the area.

Decorations and Awards: Air Assault Badge, Senior Recruiting Badge, Army Commendation Medal (2nd award), Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service  Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon with  number 2 Device, Illinois Long and Honorable Service Medal, Illinois Military Attendance Ribbon  with a number 3 Device.


Region V - SPC Je'Von R. Daurbigny - Louisiana National Guard

SPC Daurbigny is a member of Detachment 1, Company B, 136th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 139th Regional Support Group of Camp Minden, Louisiana.  He was born in New Iberia, Louisiana in 1991. In 2010 SPC Daurbigny graduated from New Iberia Senior High School and enlisted in the Louisiana Army National Guard.  SPC Daurbigny attended the 25B1O Information Technology Specialist course at Fort Gordon, Georgia, graduating in 2011.  He is currently a student at Louisiana State University studying computer engineering.

SPC Daurbigny competed in the company, battalion and state level Soldier of the Year Best Warrior Competitions in Louisiana, taking 1st place in each event.  SPC Daurbigny's performance at the Region 5 Best Warrior Competition earned him the opportunity to compete in the 2012 Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Fort Benning, Georgia.

In high school SPC Daurbigny competed as a pole vaulter, once winning state and reached as high as 3rd at nationals.   During his senior year he placed 5th at the Junior Olympics World Games held in Italy.  At Louisiana State University, SPC Daurbigny juggles between being a student, a Soldier, and the president of a nonprofit organization, the Dream Again Foundation. The Dream Again Foundation assists the community in rebuilding and raising funds for local churches, self improvement classes, and mentoring.

SPC Daurbignys' awards and decorations include; the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.


Region VI - SPC Ryan M. Johnson - Oregon National Guard

SPC Johnson is a member of Bravo Company 2nd Battalion 162nd Infantry, in Corvallis Oregon.  A native of Brookings, Oregon, he joined the Oregon National Guard in May of 2010 and attended 11B OSUT in June of 2010. SPC Johnson has been assigned to Bravo Company since joining the Oregon National Guard. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in General Science with a Pre-Dental option at Oregon State University.

SPC Johnson has attended overseas training in Thailand, and earned his Expert Infantry Badge. He was chosen to represent Bravo Company as the soldier of the year, for his work ethic, intelligence, and the way he handled himself during the EIB Testing. He was chosen to represent his battalion after winning the 2-162 IN soldier of the year board.

SPC Johnson performs violin with his church's worship team on Sundays and performs music for the elderly in retirement homes. He also performed the violin with the Del Norte Orchestra for three years.

SPC Johnson's Awards Include:
Army Achievement Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon
Oregon Commendation Medal
Expert Infantry Badge


Region VI - SSG Michael R. Bautista - Idaho National Guard

SSG Michael R Bautista serves as a Scout Section Leader with Second Squadron, 116th Cavalry Regiment, 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team, Idaho Army National Guard, Boise, Idaho. He was born in Tacoma, Washington. He enlisted in the split option program US Army Reserve assigned to Company A, 100th BN, 442nd Infantry, Fort Shafter, Hawaii. Prior to graduating high school, he attended Infantryman basic combat training at Fort Benning Georgia. His senior year he moved to Tacoma, Washington and transferred to the Washington Army National Guard. He graduated high school in Lakewood, Washington at Clover Park High School. He completed his advanced individual training at Fort Knox, Kentucky as a Cavalry Scout assigned to Troop E 303rd Cavalry, Puyallup, Washington. Later, he moved to Idaho for employment and subsequently transferred to Det 2 HHC 2d BN, 116th Cavalry, Idaho Army National Guard. SSG Bautista is currently attending American Military University and is projected to graduate in the class of 2013 with a BA in Military History.

SSG Bautista completed two combat tours to Iraq; 2004-2005 OIF III assigned to Det 2, HHC 2d BN, 116th Cavalry and 2010-2011 OND1, C Troop 2d Squadron, 116th Cavalry Regiment. During OND, he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal. SSG Bautista was nominated as the most outstanding member because of his physical, mental, technical, and tactical abilities, displayed during Troop, Squadron, State and Region competitions.

SSG Bautista volunteers with his church, Christ Community Church in Idaho Falls, assisting with the Children’s Ministry Group in the nursery and the Helping Hands Ministry Group accomplishing repairs/maintenance at church member’s homes.

Decorations and Awards: Governors Outstanding Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Joint Service Commendation, Army Achievement Medal-2, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal-3, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal/Mobilization, NCO Professional Development Ribbon-2, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon-2, Idaho Emergency Duty Ribbon-1, Idaho Reenlistment Ribbon-3, Idaho Service Ribbon-2.


Region VII - SPC Julian R. Batz - Nevada National Guard

SPC Batz is currently serving as a Cavalry Scout in the 1st Squadron, 221st Cavalry (221 CAV) based in Las Vegas, NV where he was born and raised.  After graduating from Sierra Vista High School in 2009, SPC Batz enlisted into the Nevada National Guard the same year. He completed 19D OSUT training at Fort Knox, KY.  SPC Batz is currently a student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

SPC Batz was nominated as the Soldier of the Year for 221 CAV due to his leadership ability and his ability to exceed Army and Unit standards.  After winning the State of Nevada competition in August 2011 he went on to win the Region 7 competition in April 2012. He most recently was added to the Governors Twenty by qualifying in the top percentile in the State of Nevada Marksmanship competition.

SPC Batz volunteers his free time as a high school wrestling coach, where he mentors and trains adolescents in the art of collegiate wrestling as well as other life skills. He also volunteers his time to assisting his unit in physical fitness and Army Warrior training. SPC Batz currently lives and cares for his grandmother.

SPC Batz has been awarded the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (GOLD), Army Accommodation Medal first award, Army Achievement Medal first award, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, and the Nevada Meritorious Service Ribbon.


Region VII - SSG Eugene A. K. Patton Jr - Colorado National Guard

SSG Patton is currently serving as a Training and Readiness NCO (AGR) and Intelligence Analyst for the 117th Space Battalion in Colorado Springs, Colorado. SSG Patton was born in Berrien Springs, Michigan where he grew up and graduated High School. SSG Patton enlisted into the Colorado Army National Guard in March 2003 as a Multiple Launch Rocket System Crewmember with B Battery, 2/157th Field Artillery in Colorado Springs, Colorado. SSG Patton attended AIT at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma in the fall of 2003 as the Distinguished Honor Graduate. SSG Patton has received an Associate of Applied Science with High Honors from Cochise College and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies with an area of focus in Criminal Justice at Excelsior College. 

SSG Patton was activated as a member of Task Force 169 with B Battery, 2/157th Field Artillery in September 2005 in response to Hurricane Katrina. SSG Patton received the Army Commendation Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, and Louisiana Emergency Service Medal for his efforts during the operation. SSG Patton was attached to the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team as a member of B Company (MICO), 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team on a deployment to Iraq from February 2009 to January 2010. SSG Patton served as a Human Intelligence Team Leader at COP Meade and as the Aerostat NCOIC at FOB Falcon during the deployment. Upon return SSG Patton received the Iraq Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Reserves Medal with “M” Device, Colorado Active Service Medal, Colorado Foreign Deployment Service Ribbon, and Meritorious Unit Commendation.  SSG Patton was selected as the Region VII NCO Best Warrior in April 2012 in San Luis Obispo, California. SSG Patton competed against Soldiers from the seven other Region VII States and Territories after winning the Colorado Army National Guard’s 2012 NCO Best Warrior. SSG Patton will now compete at the National Guard Bureau Best Warrior Competition from 29 July to 02 August 2012.

Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (1 SOLC, 1 BOLC), Army Achievement Medal (1 BOLC), Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal (1 BS), Iraq Campaign Medal  (1 BS), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (“M”), NCO Professional Development (“2”), Army Service Ribbon, Over Seas Service Ribbon, Colorado Soldier of the Year Award (3 BS), Colorado Active Service Medal, Colorado Foreign Deployment Service Ribbon, Colorado Mobilization Support Ribbon, Louisiana Emergency Service Ribbon, Air Assault Badge, Parachutist Badge, Army Space Badge, Over Seas Service Bar, and Meritorious Unit Commendation.