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North Dakota soldiers receive coins for excellence

Last month, the 191st Military Police Company completed a COMET (Command Organizational Maintenance Evaluation Team) inspection. This month, Command Sgt. Maj. Joel Walsvik visited North Dakota Army National Guard Soldiers in the company and presented coins for excellence to some whose success stood out.

"The 191st MP Company - like all other units in the state - is full of top-notch Soldiers," Walsvik said. 

Sgt. Hoa Tran, of Fargo, worked on ensuring military driver licenses for every unit member were up to date with every piece of equipment each Soldier was licensed on listed. She chose to come in and work half days on the weekends after working an overnight shift at her civilian job as a certified nursing assistant. 

"This shows that putting in the little extra effort and doing what you're told to do does pay off in the long run," Tran said.

Staff Sgt. Chad Braaten, of West Fargo, worked on maintenance and came in on his days off to make sure the vehicles were up to standard. 

Spc. Leah Grinsteinner, of Bismarck, N.D., came in for a week to install radios in vehicles at each of the 191st Company's locations: Bismarck, Fargo and Mayville. She also ensured all other communication equipment was up to standard.

She called the intense schedule "hard work" and expressed her gratefulness for some assistance.

"I had a lot of help and I thank them very much for it," she said.

After using the radios frequently in Iraq, Staff Sgt. Kelly Schmidt, of Mayville, and Spc. Dustin Hayenga, of West Fargo, were pivotal in aiding her in the radio installation. 

"I really liked knowing that even as a lower ranked Soldier I could aid the unit with something this big," Hayenga said.