Members of the Fort Drum community gathered Dec. 10 at the Multipurpose Auditorium to hon-or Soldiers graduating from the Warrior Leader Course.
Guest speaker Command Sgt. Maj. Roy A. Holmes, 3rd Brigade Combat Team (rear) senior enlisted adviser, congratulated the graduates of Class 02-14 and the cadre at the NCO Academy for training tomorrow’s leaders.
“As a sergeant in the United States Army, you are now the first-line supervisor of America’s most prized possession: her sons and daughters,” Holmes said. “You will set the tone for the duty day by leading your Soldiers in physical training, challenging them to become the most physically fit Soldiers ever to step foot on the battlefield.
“As leaders,” he added, “you will plan, resource and execute tough realistic training that enables your unit to execute the Army’s core mission: to close with and destroy the enemy.”
The mission of the WLC is to provide the skills noncommissioned officers require to lead, train and fight.
Holmes noted that good NCOs watch over their Soldiers in both professional and personal environments.
“As a sergeant, you are the first line of defense in protecting your Soldiers from not only our enemies on the battlefield, but also the hazards of life in general,” Holmes said. “Train your Soldiers to make good decisions on a daily basis that uphold the Army values.
“Each day is an opportunity to teach, coach and mentor your Soldiers,” he continued. “Teach your Soldiers to be technically and tactically proficient. Coach your Soldiers through life’s challenges based on your experiences in order to assist them in making the best decisions for their career and Family. Become a mentor to your subordinates through your actions.
“Lead from the front, uphold the Army values and be professional in all that you do,” he added. “Soldiers will pattern themselves after leaders they have identified throughout their career. Be the leader that encourages their Soldiers to be disciplined, motivated and dedicated to representing our Army honorably.”
In closing, the sergeant major encouraged the graduates to be a voice of reason and strength that their Soldiers will listen to during ever-changing times.
“Our Soldiers face an uncertain future,” Holmes said. “What will the Army look like in the next five to 10 years? What new enemies will emerge as threats to our way of life?
“Regardless of what enemies emerge and how the Army transforms, our Soldiers can be assured that their first-line supervisors – you – will train them to defeat America’s enemies, mentor and educate them to be successful as the Army transforms, and continue to be the tip of the spear for the world’s most lethal fighting force, the United States Army.”
After his speech, Holmes handed out awards and helped WLC staff in recognizing each graduate.
Sgt. Jackson D. White, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, was named Distinguished Honor Graduate for superior academic achievement.
Sgt. Esteban J. Gonzalez, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, was the class’s Sgt. 1st Class Jared C. Monti Leadership Award recipient.
Sgt. Caleb W. Walters, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, received the Commandant’s Inspection award.
Sgt. Robert J. Clews, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, was named Iron Warrior.
Instructor of the Cycle was presented to Staff Sgt. James C. Pritchard.
The following Soldiers performed above course standards and were named to the Commandant’s List: Sgt. Jhonatan Aguilar, Sgt. Dustin J. Behrens, Sgt. Zach-ary C. Brown, Sgt. Rene G. Garcia, Sgt. Luis F. Granados, Sgt. Jeremy T. Meeks, Sgt. Joshua A. Moutry, Sgt. Brice M. Wood, Cpl. Casey D. Brock, Cpl. Mark N. Myers Jr., Spc. Aaron J. Aven, Spc. Nicolas G. Derossett, Spc. Spc. David M.P. Dwight, Spc. Nicholas A. Evenson, Spc. Nelly L. Gonzalez, Spc. Patrick A. Shepis, Spc. Gregory I. Tainatongo and Spc. Laron A. WilsonAngel.
The following Soldiers were named Class 02-14’s Top Squad: Spc. Bradley N. Boykin, Spc. Brent S. Clyde, Spc. Nicholas A. Evenson, Spc. James R. Johnson III, Spc. Joel A. RiveraNieves, Spc. Jose C. Saavedra and Spc. Alexander T. Vee.
Other WLC graduates were as follows: Sgt. Jesse M. Adams IV, Sgt. Kizzy L. Allum, Sgt. Andrawes S. Batshoun, Sgt. Evan A. Burgess, Sgt. Benjamin J. Cornish, Sgt. Jennifer N. Crawford, Sgt. Jeremy B. Duncan, Sgt. Robert M. Ellison, Sgt. Miguel A. Garcia, Sgt. Luis F. Granados and Sgt. Drew C. Hinck.
Also, Sgt. Michael L. Kleven, Sgt. Christopher L. Lewis, Sgt. Jeremy T. Meeks, Sgt. Basilio E. Morales, Sgt. Galen R. Oestrike, Sgt. Shawn J. Reed, Sgt. Victor A. Rodriguez, Sgt. Aaron M. Rosario, Sgt. Dontavious R. Sailor, Sgt. Matthew D. Sloane, Sgt. Marshall S. Trexler, Sgt. Cody J. Wessels and Sgt. Carlos T. Zuna.
Also, Cpl. Daniel L. Baillargeon, Cpl. Scott E. Belland, Cpl. Jarrod-Jarrell A. Brown, Cpl. Ryan L. Carothers, Cpl. Derek Carmona-Diaz, Cpl. Alexander J. Favors, Cpl. Shawn J. Lane, Cpl. Ruben A. Rivera, Cpl. Anthony R. Yannarella, Spc. Alexandar M. Addison, Spc. Yousef P. Akhtar, Spc. Shannon I. Anderson, Spc. Christian J. Arizmendi-Lima, Spc. Pasha Assadi, Spc. Marie S. Augustin and Spc. Aaron J. Aven.
Also, Spc. Sam M. Bellus, Spc. Nicholas J. Benson, Spc. Miguel J. Campos, Spc. Torie A. Cash, Spc. Benjamin J. Christopher, Spc. Alusine K. Conteh, Spc. Bradley J. Dixon, Jr., Spc. Justin M. Duffield, Spc. Justin M. Edwards, Spc. Korey R. Ellwanger, Spc. Roy J. FelicianoValentin, Spc. Duarte A. Gomez, Spc. Aaron A. Gonzalez, Spc. Duncan T. Greer and Spc. Adrian S. Gutierrez.
Also, Spc. Christian J. Jordan, Spc. Thomas A. Jordan, Spc. Johnny R. Joyce Jr., Spc. Brandon D. Kaszok, Spc. Nickolas S. LaPlant, Spc. John K. Lundgren, Spc. Ryan M. Maffitt, Spc. Kory L. Martinez, Spc. Demontray A. McKelvey, Spc. Anthony J. Mendoza, Spc. Daniel M. Mwangi, Spc. David F. NavarroSanabria, Spc. Jasey K. Nelson, Spc. Hung Ngu-yen, Spc. Tommy L. Oliver Jr. and Spc. Coty R. Pogue.
Also, Spc. Ethan S. Robinson, Spc. Norman A. Robinson, Spc. Joseph A. Rodriguez, Spc. Frank A. Roew, Spc. Crucito E. SanchezMietus Jr., Spc. Bryan A. Simonson, Spc. Brandon A. Strain, Spc. Rinna T. Thach, Spc. Hanson W. Thomas, Spc. Amandaliz Vega, Spc. Cole J. Wells, Spc. Dalton L. Whitfield, Spc. Scott D. Willmarth Jr., Spc. Eric L. Wilson, Spc. Daniel A. Winters and Spc. Lakeah J. Woods.