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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Tribute To Thomas A. Sherman March 6, 2014
Ken Calvert, R-CA
"In September of 1966, Tom answered his nation’s call and was drafted into the U.S. Army. He attended basic training at Fort Ord, California and was subsequently sent to Vietnam in 1967 as a soldier with the 1st Battalion, 84th Artillery of the 9th Infantry Division. His potential was recognized by his superiors with a promotion to Sergeant and gun-crew NCO in charge. He and his battalion earned two Presidential Unit Citations for their gallant service. Tom returned to the United States in March of 1968 and took the knowledge learned in Vietnam to train new artillery soldiers at the Artillery School at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. He was honorably discharged from the Army in June of 1968 as a Specialist 5th Class. Tom returned to California and immediately resumed his job at CDF as a Firefighter in Orange County"
Remembering Staff Sergeant Ryan D. Austin January 30, 2014
Mitch McConnell, R-KY
"For his service in uniform, Staff Sergeant Austin received several medals, awards, and decorations, including the Air Force Achievement Medal, the Meritorious Unit Award, the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon, the NCO Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon, the Small Arms Expert Marksman Ribbon, the Air Force Training Ribbon, and the Cyberspace Support Badge."
Honoring Master Sergeant James M. Shinard, Sr. January 14, 2014
Bennie Thompson, D-MS
"Throughout his 28 years of service, Master Sergeant Shinard has received numerous decorations and badges. Among those received are; the Humanitarian Service Medal, Combat Action Badge, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal (with Bronze Service Star), and Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with “M” Device and 20-Year Silver Hourglass). His present assignment is Mobilization/Readiness NCO, 412 Theater Engineer Command (TPU) in Vicksburg, MS. Currently, Master Sergeant Shinard is also pursuing an educational degree at Belhaven University, which he plans to complete in June 2014."
Tribute To Command Sergeant Major Rachel L. Fails November 21, 2013
Tom Latham, R-IA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and congratulate Command Sergeant Major Rachel L. Fails for appointment as the Senior Enlisted Leader of the Iowa National Guard. This is a truly momentous occasion for the State of Iowa as Rachel is the first female Senior Enlisted Leader in the Iowa National Guard’s 175-year history. CSM Fails currently resides in Grimes, but was raised in Nashua, Iowa where she graduated from Nashua High School in 1987. Rachel began her 27-year military career in 1986 when she enlisted with the Iowa Army National Guard’s 1133rd Transportation Company based in Mason City. Upon graduation from basic training and AIT in 1987, Rachel attained two Military Occupational Specialties as a Heavy-Wheeled Vehicle Driver and a Unit Supply Specialist. CSM Fails is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy resident course and multiple Non-Commissioned Officer courses. In 1996, Rachel also received an associate’s degree in Business from North Iowa Area Community College. Over the course of her career, Rachel has served her country in numerous full-time roles including unit armorer, unit supply sergeant, operations sergeant major, and various NCO roles. Throughout her service to our state and nation, Rachel has been placed across Iowa and across the globe in station assignments from Centerville to Johnston and as far away as Kosovo and Iraq. CSM Fails was deployed twice to the Middle East, during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield in 1990, and Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in 2008. Mr. Speaker, as an outspoken supporter of Iowa’s National Guard I have always been impressed with the remarkable men and women who serve in this organization. Rachel Fail’s career is a great example for our men and women in uniform and what Iowans are capable of through hard work and unwavering commitment to a cause greater than themselves. I applaud Command Sergeant Major Fails on her most recent promotion and wish her the greatest success. It is a great honor to represent her in the United States Congress. I invite my colleagues in the House to join me in congratulating Rachel, and all of Iowa’s servicemembers, on the continued excellence in service they provide to the State of Iowa, and our nation as a whole."
National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2014 November 20, 2013
Jack Reed, D-RI
"I think we have made great progress, finally, by focusing on the evaluation and efficiency reports that every officer and NCO must receive each year."

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