South Dakota National Guard Honors
The South Dakota Army National Guard has announced its Soldier of the Year and its Noncommissioned Officer of the Year for 2013. The titles of Solder of the Year and NCO are honors given to enlisted personnel in South Dakota’s Army National Guard.
Congratulations to Spc. Dalton DeBoer of Clear Lake for being named the Soldier of the Year and Staff Sgt. Sam Schaefers of Watertown for being the Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. Both soldiers serve proudly and are members of Watertown’s Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1-147th Field Artillery Battalion.
Spc. Dalton DeBoer is a full-time student at South Dakota State University. He joined the National Guard as a Multiple Launch Rocket System operator and fire direction specialist for the 1-147th Filed Artillery Battalion. Helping him to earn the honor of Solder of the Year, Spc. DeBoer loves to learn new things and continues to train to be physically fit. He loves to hunt, but admits that ROTC takes up much of his time.
Staff Sgt. Sam Schaefers knew he wanted to serve in the military when he was in high school. He chose the Guard because of the inspiration of his older sister…who also joined. Schaefers enjoys hunting, but admits that any free time he has is usually spent with his family. He does credit having a good daily routine and a good, general knowledge of Soldier skills as to why he is the Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. Schaefers serves as the training NCO for the 1-147th Field Artillery Battalion.
Both men were winners of the Army Guard Best Warrior Competition where they competed against 33 others in events that included a written exam, writing an essay, battle drills, M-16 rifle marksmanship, land navigation, an obstacle course, a six- mile road march and a physical fitness test.
Along with competitors from six other states, DeBoer and Schaefers will represent South Dakota and compete for the regional title in the Region 6 Best Warrior competition on May 18-22, 2014 in Rapid City. The winners of that competition will advance to the national Best Warrior Competition.