FRANKFORT, Ky. –
Soldiers from the Kentucky Army National Guard attended the Signal and Cyber Leader’s Symposium at Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort, Ky Jan. 22-23, 2022.
The symposium focused on establishing a community for all members of the signal and cyber fields, as well as sharing knowledge regarding opportunities and career paths in an open forum.
“Establishing this community of purpose allows a low density MOS to know and reach out to their colleagues and gain a knowledge of promotion opportunities and positions,” said Maj. Stephen Young, symposium organizer.
A key takeaway from this event was award presentations.
The awarding of the Silver Order of Mercury by the Signal Corps Regimental Association to three Kentucky Army National Guard Soldiers; Maj. Timothy Ball, Sgt. 1st Class Steven Richardson, and Staff Sgt. Brian Bingham, marking the first time that Kentucky Soldiers received these awards.
The Silver Order of Mercury is awarded to those select few who stand above their peers and have made conspicuous long-term significant contributions to the U.S. Army Signal Corps and the Association (SCRA).
Following the symposium, Chief Warrant Officer 5 David Barker was awarded the Bronze Order of Mercury, which recognizes those people who have demonstrated the highest standards of integrity, moral character, professional competence and selflessness, and who have contributed significantly to the promotion of the Signal Corps and the Signal Corps Regimental Association.
“Signal leaders know that the J6 is in their foxhole with them all the way, from career management, to planning and promotions,” Said Young. “To come in and have that no nonsense briefing on where I can go in the state of Kentucky as a signal leader, whether you’re there because you love the signal world or you want to get promoted.”
1st Lt. Shannon Bush attended the symposium and spoke on how beneficial it was.
“It’s easy in your day to day job to not think about your long term career goals,” said Bush. “This was also a great way to network and share products with other signal leaders.”
This symposium also highlighted the importance of signal and cyber to the force.
“If you don’t communicate, you can’t operate,” said Young. “Every unit and every MOS must communicate. As many have said in the past, if you don’t communicate, you’re only camping.”
Col. John Blackburn, KYARNG chief information officer, added that this symposium also encouraged signal and cyber leaders to be more engaged in the planning of missions.
“We really pushed hard for these leaders to get with their commander’s and planning officers from the get go. How do you become an operational part of the plan as opposed to just a service?”
Blackburn’s answer to that was to be proactive in the planning stages and voice possible issues before they happen.