Story by CPT William Duvall on 02/09/2019CLEMSON, S.C. - Brig. Gen. Brian W. Gibson, Fires Center of Excellence (FCoE) commandant, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, awards Charlie Battery, 2-263rd Air Defense Artillery Battalion, the Hamilton Award Feb. 9, 2019, in Clemson, South Carolina, recognizing Charlie Battery as the Best Army National Guard Air Defense Artillery Battery in the U.S. Army over the past year while deployed to Germany.
The Alexander Hamilton Award is named for famed statesman and Continental Army Artilleryman Maj. Gen. Alexander Hamilton, who during the War of Independence organized an artillery company and saw action at New York, Long Island, Trenton, Princeton and White Plans. Hamilton was appointed to the position of aide-de-camp to Gen. George Washington and was recognized for his organizational and combat skills.
"I tell you on behalf of Air Defense, both Active Duty and National Guard, it is a privilege for Command Sgt. Maj. Burnley and I to say you are the best," stated Gibson. "You are the best National Guard Battery in the United States. Not in South Carolina, not Florida, not North Dakota, not Ohio, you are the best in the country. There can only be one."
The award recognizes the outstanding Air Defense Artillery (ADA) and Field Artillery (FA) Reserve Component (RC), U.S. Army National Guard (ARNG) battery of the year for exceptional achievement, superior mission accomplishment and overall unit excellence.
"You know where we started, this field right here. We were in the crawl phase and we learned a lot. Think about where you went from, being tasked out to do different things," added 1st Sgt. Chris Williams, Charlie Battery first sergeant. "By the end of it, I believe everyone grew closer together. The way we lived, built camaraderie, you find out what you can take and what you can't take. Coming back, I hope everybody grew and learned something. I think it was good for the group overall. "
Charlie 2-263rd was heavily tasked and challenged while they participated in multiple exercises and training events.
"We participated in several multinational exercises and NATO exercises. Combined Resolve X was our first major exercise that is a Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) rotation. In that exercise, we participated in and supported the 2ABCT out of Ft. Riley, Kansas," shared Cpt. Glenn Kimbrell, Charlie Battery commander. "That was a great opportunity for us. It was our first external evaluation. We were deemed to be a T level of Mission Essential Tasks (METL) proficiency, which was a critical gate for us. Saber Strike 18, which was USAEURs premiere exercise for FY 18, also a multinational exercise where we convoyed with the 2nd Calvary Regiment over 2800 KM and had 5 international border crossings during 24 days. In addition to that, we had several smaller exercise and internal battery exercises."
Maj. Gen. Timothy Sheriff, 263rd Army Air and Missile Command (AAMDC) commander, in attendance shared a few words.
"Soldiers you know how proud we are of you here in the South Carolina National Guard, and in everything you have accomplished," began Sheriff. "On behalf of the Adjutant General, the 263rd AAMDC and the 678th ADA Brigade, we congratulate you. You have led and grown and represented the Air Defense community in a significant way."
Kimbrell finished the ceremony with a few words for the formation.
"Maj. Gen. Sheriff, Brig. Gen. Gibson, command sergeants major, I really appreciate you coming and presenting this award," Kimbrell said, first addressing the guests then the troops. "Remember I told you Nov. 16, 2017, that if you give me the right attitude and right effort, we would be the best Battery in the National Guard, and in my opinion the Army, and this proves that to be right...I appreciate your effort and I am very proud of you. Now you have another mission, you are the subject matter experts, for what we are about to do, getting back to core METL, you know it, no one else knows it better."
Included in the ceremony, Brig. Gen Gibson promoted 2nd Lt. Justin Adams to first lieutenant and recognized several Soldiers for their excellence while on deployment with coins; Sgt. (P) Nathaniel Stanley, Spc. David Deering and Spc. Jordan Wallace.