The 857th Mississippi National Guard Engineer Company, based in Picayune, was honored for its service in Afghanistan from 2012 to 2013 during an awards ceremony Sunday at Camp Shelby.
The 857th Engineer Company received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for its service in Afghanistan from July 2012 to May 2013, said Major Andy Thaggard, Mississippi National Guard public affairs officer.
Thaggard said that often small businesses go unrecognized for their services and achievements and are instead lumped together in another unit. He said it is very prestigious that the 857th Engineer Company is recognized for its work in Afghanistan.
The ceremony included a speech by the battalion commander, the presentation of the colors and a new banner commemorating their work in Afghanistan.
Each member of the company also received a ribbon to add to their uniform to recognize their accomplishment.
“I think it is a huge honor for my soldiers to receive such a prestigious honor. It’s an appreciation for what they have done, ”said unit commander Captain Shan M. Seymour in a public affairs video.
Thaggard said the award is also distinctive because the Mississippi National Guard doesn’t have a lot of awards for wartime service.
According to a press release, the Company’s soldiers received this award because they “led the theater to develop the engineering capability of the Afghan National Army by supporting the International Security Assistance Forces to establish the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan by providing a flexible and dedicated force at a critical time for our nation and Afghanistan.
The statement also states that no other engineering company has demonstrated the flexibility and impact of the 857th Engineer Company.
“The dedication of the 857th Engineer Company to duty, achievements and contributions reflect great credit to the unit, Engineer Regiment and the United States Army,” the press release said.