Local Engineer Company honored for service
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, May 20, 2014
The Picayune-based Mississippi Army National Guard 857th Engineer Company was honored for their service in Afghanistan from 2012-13 during an award ceremony Sunday at Camp Shelby.
The 857th Engineer Company received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for their service in Afghanistan from July 2012 to May 2013, said Mississippi National Guard Public Affairs Officer Maj. Andy Thaggard.
Thaggard said a lot of times smaller companies are not singled out for their service and accomplishments and are instead they are grouped into another unit. He said it is very prestigious for the 857th Engineer Company to be recognized for their work in Afghanistan.
The ceremony included a speech by the battalion commander, presentation of colors and a new streamer commemorating their work in Afghanistan.
Each member of the company also received a ribbon to add to their uniform signifying their achievement.
“I think it’s a tremendous honor for my soldiers to receive a prestigious honor like that. It’s an appreciation for what they’ve done,” said Unit Commander Capt. Shan M. Seymour in a public affairs video.
Thaggard said the award is also distinctive because the Mississippi National Guard doesn’t have many awards for wartime service.
According to a press release, the soldiers of the company were presented with this award because they, “led the theater to develop Afghan National Army Engineer capacity supporting the International Security Assistance Forces to establish the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan by providing an effective, flexible and dedicated force at a critical time for our nation and Afghanistan.”
The release also goes on to state that no other engineer company demonstrated the flexibility and impact as the 857th Engineer Company.
“The 857th Engineer Company’s dedication to duty, achievements and contributions reflect great credit upon the unit, the Engineer Regiment and the United States Army,” the press release stated.