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Staff Sergeant Richard A. Christianson, Jr. Was chosen the 1st Army West Noncommissioned Officer of the Year for 2003. His is presently serving with the Pennsylvania Army National Guards 3rd Battalion, 166th Regiment (CA) in Annville, PA.
Command Sgt. Maj. Horace Pysher (left), acting command sergeant major of the 28th Infantry Division, presents the Active Guard and Reserve Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Award to Staff Sgt. Richard Christianson, Jr.
Each year, the PA Army National Guard initiates recognition boards for its soldiers as a way of continuing to build esprit de corps, while recognizing outstanding potential. After winning at the state level, Sgt. Christianson moved on to represent the Pennsylvania National Guard at the First United States Army Regional Boards, bringing home first place honors from that competition.
Staff Sergeant Christianson graduated high school, A1 Technician School and Bus Driver School. His military training includes infantry training, Basic Noncommissioned Officer course phases I and II, Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Phase II, Professional Leadership Development Course, Combat Lifesaver, Fire Direction Control school, TAITC and SGITC.
Staff Sergeant Christianson started out his military career with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 1985, attending Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Benning, GA. He then served with Company A, 1st Battalion, 109th Infantry in Honesdale, PA, and then with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 109th Infantry in Scranton, PA, before moving on to the 4th Battalion, 166th Regiment at Annville. Later, he moved to the 3rd Battalion of that same Regiment in 2001.
His federal military awards include Army Commendation Medal (2), Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (2), National Defense Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (2), Army Service Ribbon and an Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon. His state awards include Pennsylvania Service Ribbon, General T. R. White Medal and a General T. J. Stewart Medal.
When hes not serving as a full-time Active-Guard Reserve soldier, Staff Sergeant Christianson enjoys fishing, hunting, handyman construction, swimming, biking, four-wheeling and camping. He lives in Susquehanna, PA with his wife, Christine Eva.
Navy Fireman Joseph S. Travis, Jr., son of Bonne C. and Joseph S. Travis of New Milford, PA, recently returned from an eight-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom while assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, home ported in San Diego.
Travis' ship was the first to deploy with the new F/A-18F Super Hornet (two-seat version) and E-2C Hawkeye 2000 aircraft. The Nimitz flew more than 6,500 missions and used 125,000 pounds of ordnance in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
During the deployment Travis' ship visited ports in Dubai and Singapore. While in Singapore the Nimitz's Religious Ministries Department coordinated a community-service project designed to lend a helping hand to the local community and strengthen ties between both cultures.
Travis' ship also raised $2,000 dollars for the USS Missouri Memorial that will assist in restoration of the chief petty officer spaces and the founding of a Chief Petty Officer's museum.
Joe is a 2001 graduate of Blue Ridge High School and joined the Navy in July 2001.
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