Written by Sgt. Neysa Canfield
101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public
Fort Campbell, KY – Every year the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System recognizes a military unit that has gone above and beyond while supporting its partnered school by presenting them with the Boots on the Ground award.
This year, CMCCS gave the award to two units from 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
The 101st Special Troops Battalion and D Battery, 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment received the award during the CMCSS’s annual Partners in Education breakfast, September 1st, at the Wilma Rudolph Event Center in Clarksville, Tennessee.Partners in Education is a program that brings together the Clarksville-Montgomery Schools with local businesses and organizations to enhance the learning environment in public schools with their time, expertise and material resources, said Anthony Johnson, community relations director with CMCSS.
“Schools nominate their Partner in Education and we [CMCSS] typically select one unit that stands out among the rest, but this year there were two really great nominations, which is why we recognized both of them,” added Johnson.
Johnson, who was part of the team from CMCSS that selected both battalions out of approximately nine that were nominated for the award, said having two battalions from the same brigade receive this type of recognition is exceptional.
“It really shows that the brigade is truly devoted and dedicated to the community where they live,” added Johnson. “There is a commitment beyond the typical [volunteer] duties this brigade has and it tells that they want to support our schools, student and provide their service.”
Both 101st STB and D Btry., 2nd Bn., 44th ADA Regt. have been partnered with their respective schools, Woodlawn Elementary School and Northeast Elementary School, for over a year, and received the award for the first time.
Staff Sgt. Dedric Daniels, an avenger system repairer with D Btry., 2nd Bn., 44th ADA Regt., received the award on behalf of his unit.
“We had Soldiers help monitor during testing, read to the students during Reading Across America, and help with the Fall Festival,” he explained.
Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Graham Jr., senior enlisted adviser for 101st STB, said his battalion supported Northeast Elementary School with its Education Appreciation Week, Fall Picture Day, Canned Food Drive, Veterans Recognition Day, and the School-wide landscaping clean up.
“A lot of our Soldiers’ children go the schools, which is why it is so important that we show our support to the community and schools around the Fort Campbell area,” said Graham.
“For them to recognize us in that magnitude, in front of the different school districts and organizations, really showed us how thankful they were,” he explained.
Like Graham, Daniels said the Soldiers from D Btry. are honored to be recognized for their support to Woodlawn Elementary School and have the award displayed at the entrance of their battery area for everyone to see.
D Btry., 2nd Bn., 44th ADA Regt., and 101st STB leaders said they were thankful for the award and will continue to support their schools by increasing their volunteer services and get more members of their individual battalions involved.