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Friday, December 3rd, 2021

Wisconsin National Guard Unit garners honor

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The 2020 Maj. Gen. William L. Sibert Award has been bestowed upon the Wisconsin National Guard’s 54th Civil Support Team (CST) in recognition of excellence in mission readiness.

The specialized unit of full-time Army and Air National Guard members are trained to respond to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear emergencies and received the honor name for the World War I officer considered to be the father of the U.S. Army’s chemical corps.

“It requires each team member to exceed the standard in all areas that are reviewed,” 1st Sgt. Ken Prieur, the 54th CST’s senior enlisted leader, said. “Each member of our team represents about five percent of our force, so if just one Soldier or Airman is not at the top of their game, it really shows.”

The evaluation process included assessing the unit’s individual training, structured self-development, collective training, and mission execution. Maintenance evaluators looked at the unit’s equipment status, inspections and awards while safety evaluators inspected the unit’s safety record and awards.

Organizational excellence evaluators examined individual and unit awards, administrative inspections, medical readiness, family readiness, group activities, and volunteer recognition.

“Having fewer [members] is advantageous in the sense that we only have 22 personnel that need to excel,” Staff Sgt. Levi Parker, the 54th CST’s survey team chief, said. “The more difficult part is that we have our positions on the team, plus the typical company-level additional duties that need to be maintained and balanced between 22 people. We have the same amount, if not more equipment than a company-sized element that needs to be maintained. We have the standard Army inspections plus our specialized inspections to allow us to respond and work with our partners. It can be a lot to balance.”