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Minnesota National Guard
834th ASB is awarded the MUC

The 834th Aviation Support Battalion (ASB) was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC) Award following its deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as part of Task Force 34 during the period of Aug 15, 2008 to Feb 15, 2009  The award ceremony was held at Camp Ripley, Minn on Sept 20 

"The best part of this award is that it reflects the success of the team instead of an individual To attain and sustain such a high level of performance across this wide spectrum of sections, platoons, and companies is no easy task," said Lt. Col. Eric Waage, 834th ASB Commander "It is a credit to the Soldiers and leaders at all levels that they effectively achieved a unity of purpose"

The Meritorious Unit Commendation is awarded to units for exceptionally meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding services during the period of military operations against an armed enemy The unit must display such outstanding devotion and superior performance of exceptionally difficult tasks as to set it apart and above other units with similar missions

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"One common thread for the Army National Guard's Citizen-Soldiers is attitude  We went there to do something, to make a difference  It wasn't just a fourth, fifth tour, we really wanted to do some good there," said Col Clay Brock, 34th Combat Aviation Brigade Commander   "And that battalion was exceptionally good at that common thread, hence they got recognized"

According to the award orders signed by Lt. Col. Marion Salters, Military Awards Branch Chief, the unit's professionalism and flexibility allowed it to simultaneously support two task forces, Task Force 34 and Task Force 49, in multiple locations across the Iraq Theater of Operation  The 834th ASB also responded rapidly to changing needs and made vast improvements in all areas in which they operated

"Any mission that came to us, we completed it  Any task we were assigned, we did it  It was a "˜can do' attitude  I think [the award] was well deserved," said Cpt Daniel Dobler, Headquarters Support Company 834th ASB Commander  "It's always hard to do be away from home and family and have that on your mind And do the outstanding work that they did is just most impressive"

Not only was this a great honor because it was the first unit award the 834th ASB has achieved since being formed in 2000, but also because of the small number of recipients

"Here in the Minnesota Guard, there have only been three units from what [I understand] that have received this Meritorious Unit Commendation since we started with deployments [in 2001]," Col Brock said, "so that's huge"

A red streamer will now fly on the battalion colors and company guidons  Also, each 834th ASB Soldier received a red ribbon with a gold border to wear on their Class A uniforms throughout their career  Soldiers coming into the unit will be able to wear the ribbon only while serving with the 834th ASB

 "This is a really big honor," Cpt Dobler said  "I have been in other units that have been awarded the MUC, and you get to wear them for a while then it's got to come off  To have a permanent award like that I'll have for the rest of my career, I'm really honored to have that and proud of what we were able to accomplish over there"

By Sgt Jodi Krause
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs Journalist
20 Sept, 2009

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