By Emily Anderson, WTC Stratcom
MSG Howard Day, Warrior Transition Command (WTC) Soldier, was recently honored by the National Association of Uniformed Services (NAUS) with the Selfless Service Award. Day was recognized by the organization during his graduation ceremony from the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA), Fort Bliss, Texas. He received the award for his volunteer service to wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and Veterans during his 10-month resident’s course.
“Being recognized was a humbling and remarkable moment,” said Day, the Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) in charge for the U.S. Army WTC Standardization and Evaluation Branch. “I was honored to be recognized for the unique challenge of being a full-time student and still being able to help wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers.”
“Soldiers are constantly held to certain standards known as the Army values. These values are ingrained from the start of basic training throughout a military career, so to be recognized for something that happens naturally lets me know I set the example for younger Soldiers,” he said.
During Day’s attendance at the USASMA, he volunteered more than 160 hours to the WTC, organizing several Warrior Games shooting clinics and working as the 2012 Warrior Games Army’s shooting team coach.
“Taking care of each other and taking care of Family is an example of the values our Soldiers in the Army have,” said WTC CSM Mark A. Dennis. “I have served in several deployed theaters and our NCOs and Soldiers always go above and beyond to do their best to take care of people.”
“Our wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers need the support. Many have made sacrifices that others cannot imagine. Sacrifices that change their lives and their Families’ lives forever,” he added. “Even if assistance is not needed it is always nice for them to know that it is available, and that someone truly cares enough to be there for them.”
The NAUS Selfless Service Award is presented to a servicemember for his or her volunteer community service and leadership. Recipients serve their country by loyally doing their duty without thought of recognition or gain, and with the basic building block of selfless service being the commitment of each team member to go a little further, endure a little longer, and look a little closer to see how he or she can add to the effort.
“MSG Day has the spirit of volunteering, and the spirit of going above and beyond, but I will say that many in our organization do. There are no other organizations in the Army like our Warrior Transition Units,” said Dennis. “For example, the cadre volunteer to do the jobs they do. They are evaluated on the performance of their challenging positions, and they work very long and hard hours to take care of our wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers.”
“I believe that MSG Day being the recipient of the NAUS award while attending the Sergeants Major Academy demonstrates the true spirit of the commitment of our Enlisted Corps to never leave a fallen comrade,” said Dennis. “This sets a great example for others in taking his time from an already extremely busy schedule at the academy to assist others to make their life a little better, and to show that there are those out there that truly care.”
Day admitted he had challenges trying to coordinate all of the activities and ensure the athletes received the appropriate amount of training for them to successfully compete in the shooting events during the Warrior Games.
“We had many objectives to accomplish. There were a lot of moving parts, and I still had to meet the academy’s requirements,” he said.
“I worked a lot with U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit and the Fort Bliss Warrior Transition Battalion,” he added. “We also partnered with the UTEP (University of Texas El Paso) to host the clinics at a location near Fort Bliss, and coordinated with Comprehensive Soldier Fitness- Performance and Resilience Enhancement Program in order for the events to be a success.”
Day’s 27-year military career consists of being an infantryman and a drill sergeant. He has workedon various assignments including a stint with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division and in protective services while deployed to Iraq in 2005-2006.
During Day’s 2009 Afghanistan deployment, he tore cartilage in his knee. After being evacuated, he was treated and transferred to the Fort Sill Warrior Transition Unit for seven months. While at the WTU, he worked on his recovery but remained vigilant in helping other wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers. His dedication led to contact with the WTC Operations Division Chief to work at the headquarters.
“It is my honor working with MSG Day here at the Warrior Transition Command,” said Dennis. “He sets the right example for the NCO Corps and for our junior enlisted in the Army to emulate. His hard work and dedication are appreciated by us all.”
“This was another true sign of his commitment to our Soldiers. Since his arrival back to the WTC he has been serving as the NCOIC for our Organizational Inspection Program team that goes out twice a month to different WTUs to ensure we are providing the best services to our Soldiers,” said Dennis. “He is the type of NCO that is 100 percent committed to all he does.”
Along with the NAUS award, Day received a three-year membership to NAUS and an invitation to the NAUS 44th Annual Meeting and Luncheon October 20, 2012 where retired GEN David Petraeus was the keynote speaker.