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Minnesota National Guard
Deployed Minnesota officer recognized for embodying ideals of leadership

CAMP ADDER, Iraq " In approximately one and a half months, Capt Scott J Rohweder is going to receive an award that, according to Rohweder, doesn't belong to him

On March 1, he was notified by the Department of the Army that he was one of only seven commissioned officers in the National Guard to be named winners of the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award for 2006 The GDMLA was established in 1987 to "recognize company-grade officers who demonstrate the ideals for which Gen MacArthur stood " duty, honor, country," according to an Army Web site
However, Rohweder, a 34-year-old husband and father of two from Princeton, Minn, humbly says most of the accolades for the award should go not to him, but to a much larger group of people

"I look at this as something that goes to all the Soldiers that I've had the opportunity to serve with, because without them I couldn't have done it," he said "Without their guidance and leadership, there's no way I could be where I'm at today This award is more for what they've done rather than what I've done"

Rohweder is the Echo Company commander of the Moorhead, Minn-based 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment His unit has been deployed to Iraq for almost a year The company he commands consists largely of Soldiers who conduct convoy logistics patrols, escorting supply trucks to bases throughout the country

In January, Lt. Col. William Lieder, battalion commander of the Stillwater, Minn-based 1st Brigade Troops Battalion, 34th Infantry Brigade, was deciding on a GDMLA candidate from one of the eight company commanders in the 2/136th, which is attached to the battalion The decision was a tough one for Lieder, who said he is "blessed with having a lot of company commanders who are deserving of awards" He eventually chose Rohweder, a first-time nominee, because he said the officer's strongest trait was the one that shared the namesake of the very award for which he was being recommended

"What impresses me most is his leadership," said Lieder, of Eagan, Minn "He just exemplifies what it means to be a leader That puts him in a very narrow field of officers out there"

The next step was for Maj Christopher Lindberg, the battalion executive officer, to put together a packet documenting, among other things, Rohweder's prior unit assignments, specific highlights from both his military and civilian careers, any volunteer work he'd done, and his education history

Initially, Rohweder was unaware that members of his command were preparing to recommend him for the award He eventually caught on when they started asking him for specific information and documentation, he said He began by telling them about his accomplishments during a previous mobilization

"I was deployed to Bosnia and we did a lot of construction projects and a lot of humanitarian aid projects, whether it was running new water lines to the local nationals or new road construction," said Rohweder

Being in charge of building those various structures probably came easy to Rohweder; when not in uniform, he works as a project manager for Kellington Construction in Osseo, Minn He is also the volunteer coach of a youth team in the Princeton Hockey Association

Lindberg said he is not at all surprised that Rohweder was chosen to receive the award, "based upon what he's done for our country and the [Minnesota] community"

"There are a number of criteria needed to be selected for the award, and he meets every single one of them," said Lindberg, of Cloquet, Minn "It's amazing to watch his Soldiers perform their mission on a daily basis with a high level of precision, based upon the leadership and guidance he gives them on a routine basis"

Being selected for the GDMLA was a "true honor" for him, Rohweder said He takes particular pride in the award because it is based on an entire ideal rather than a specific deed, he said

"[This award] is more significant because it encompassed everything I do," said Rohweder "To be selected, it just kind of gives you a sense of great accomplishment that you must have done something well in your career and in your life to get this"

Rohweder will go to Washington, DC, for a May 16 ceremony where he and the 27 other GDMLA winners will be presented their award: a 15-pound, hand-sculpted bronze bust of Gen Douglas MacArthur

By Spc Dustin Perry
View the MacArthur Award photo gallery

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