FORT SILL

Fort Bliss officer receives prestigious award

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Field Artillery Capt. Christopher M. Dixon, an officer assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment in the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team stationed at Fort Bliss Texas, was recently selected as the winner of the prestigious Edmund L. Gruber Award for 2018.

Named after former Brig. Gen. l Edmund L. Gruber, a decorated artillery officer who penned and composed the official Army Song, only one field artillery Soldier is selected for this prominent award every year by the Fires Center of Excellence in Fort Sill, Okla. The award recognizes "superb individual thought, innovation and overall excellence that results in significant contributions to or the enhancement of the Field Artillery's war fighting capabilities."

Capt. Dixon served as a battalion fire direction officer for his unit, bringing about innovation through the development and implementation of new firing techniques for the M777 howitzer while at the National Training Center Rotation 19-01 last autumn. In addition, Capt. Dixon was also directly responsible for playing a major role in the betterment of his unit and development of his subordinates. He designed a physically challenging test that was implemented by his unit which produced measurable data of the physical readiness of soldiers in the battalion. He also designed and implemented a junior officer certification program for use in his unit that ensured professionalism and competence in new leaders.

Capt. Dixon said winning the Gruber Award was a great honor but stated he couldn't have achieved this accomplishment alone.

"This is an individual recognition, but artillery is always a team fight, a culmination of the efforts of many individuals. Without a combined team effort as a unit every day to accomplish the mission, none of us would be able to achieve anything."

Capt. Dixon, who is currently serving as a battery commander in 2-3 FA, also said his main priority during his time as fire direction officer was to help the battalion fight its battles and accomplish its mission.

"Every day, I just focused on my job," he said.

U.S. Army story by 1st Lt. Paul Wissmiller

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