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NEWS | June 27, 2024

Engineer battalions receive Dedication Plaque

By Sgt. Destini Keene Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

The 201st and 206th Engineer Battalions from the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade were recently honored with the prestigious "Dedication Plaque" during Engineer Regimental week in the Essayons Room at Fort Leonard Wood, April 24, 2024.  
The award is given to units that exhibit exceptional service, dedication to duty, and a commitment to excellence. 
The plaque was unveiled by U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Murray Holt, the deputy commanding general for the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and U.S. Army Col. J.B. Richmond, the previous commander of the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, and will be displayed in the engineer regimental room. 
Representing the two battalions were Richmond and retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Steve King, chief of staff of the Kentucky Army National Guard. 
The significance of the dedication plaque extends beyond mere recognition. 
"What it represents is what is important – service and sacrifice – of all of those service members and a proud lineage of these two battalions," said Holt. "Both current and future service members will be able to see this plaque and be proud of the organization." 
During the ceremony, Richmond emphasized the importance of the engineers' work in maintaining infrastructure and providing critical support during emergencies. 
"When I walked through this hall as a young officer, I saw we (the 149th MEB) didn't have a plaque and I made a commitment to make that happen,” said Richmond. “I want to thank the people in this room. Their expertise and readiness ensure that we can respond swiftly and effectively to any situation.” 
Richmond continued, expressing gratitude and pride in his former units and their achievements. 
“These battalions contribute to the safety and infrastructure of Kentucky and beyond,” said Richmond. “Their recognition serves as a reminder of the dedication and sacrifice of all service members in the National Guard.” 
 Kentucky's engineers have a longstanding tradition of being nationally recognized by the Engineer Regiment as the best in the Guard. This storied history of excellence is evidenced by their consistent performance in winning prestigious awards. 
The Munson Award, which honors the best engineer platoon leader in the National Guard, has seen Kentucky engineers as recipients for several consecutive years. In 2020, 1st Lt. John Cecconi was honored with the award, followed by 1st Lt. Nathaniel Alexander in 2021 and 1st Lt. Jason Ball in 2022. 
Kentucky’s engineer companies have also excelled, frequently earning the Itschner Award, which recognizes the best engineer company in the National Guard. The 1123rd Sapper Company earned the prestigious Itschner Award in 2014 for their performance during a JRTC rotation. In 2017, the 207th Engineer Construction Company (ECC) was recognized for their CENTCOM deployment. The 2061st Multi-Role Bridge Company (MRBC) secured the award in 2018 for their Fort Chaffee rotation. The 577th Sapper Company followed in 2019 while on their XCTC rotation. The Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 206th Engineer Battalion, earned the award in 2020 for their CENTCOM deployment. And the 130th Engineer Support Company (ESC) was honored in 2021 for their deployment to the southwest border mission. 
According to Richmond, this plaque at Fort Leonard Wood highlights the roles of the 201st and 206th Engineer Battalions, honors the values and traditions of the Kentucky National Guard, and will serve as a lasting testament to these unit’s dedication and hard work that will inspire Soldiers for generations. 

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