9th MSC’s Ruhnke honored with MacArthur award

| June 7, 2013 | 0 Comments
BOGOR, Indonesia — 1st Lt. Joseph Ruhnke (left), executive officer and commander, 871st Eng. Co., 411th Eng. Bn., 9th MSC, and 1st Lt. Nanang Sujarwanto (right), project operations staff engineer and officer in charge, Tentara Nasional Indonesia (Indonesian armed forces), meet with Brig. Gen. Michele Compton (center), former commander, 9th MSC, to discuss the status of a humanitarian civic action project as part of the 9th MSC’s annual Garuda Shield exercise, here, recently. (Photo by Capt. Christina Douglas, 9th Mission Support Command)

BOGOR, Indonesia — 1st Lt. Joseph Ruhnke (left), executive officer and commander, 871st Eng. Co., 411th Eng. Bn., 9th MSC, and 1st Lt. Nanang Sujarwanto (right), project operations staff engineer and officer in charge, Tentara Nasional Indonesia (Indonesian armed forces), meet with Brig. Gen. Michele Compton (center), former commander, 9th MSC, to discuss the status of a humanitarian civic action project as part of the 9th MSC’s annual Garuda Shield exercise, here, recently. (Photo by Capt. Christina Douglas, 9th Mission Support Command)

Sgt. Elizabeth Cole
305th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
9th Mission Support Command

A 9th Mission Support Command officer is one of seven in the entire Army Reserve who was honored at the 26th annual Gen. Douglas MacArthur Award ceremony at the Pentagon, May 31.

1st Lt. Joseph Ruhnke was selected for the prestigious award for his exemplary leadership abilities and the immense level of commitment he demonstrated as the executive officer and commander of the 871st Engineer Company, 411th Eng. Battalion, 9th MSC.

“It’s an incredible honor to be recognized for your work,” said Ruhnke. “I come to work every day and do the best job I can, but I never expected anything in return.”

The MacArthur Award recognizes officers who demonstrate the ideals of duty, honor and country. The award, along with a 15-pound engraved bronze bust of MacArthur and an engraved commemorative watch, was personally presented by the Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Raymond Odierno.

Capt. Justin Montgomery, commander, 871st Eng. Co., nominated Ruhnke for the award and said that it is Ruhnke’s work ethic and commitment to the unit that places him well above other Soldiers at his level.

“1st Lt. Ruhnke is an outstanding leader and the finest company grade officer I have ever served with,” said Montgomery. “He is way ahead of his peers and many senior

officers, and is by far the best junior officer in the battalion, and even the entire command.”

Ruhnke spent the first quarter of 2012 serving as acting company commander for the 871st Eng. Co., an organization with 190 personnel spanning three islands: Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.

Once the commanding position was filled by Montgomery, Ruhnke was made the company’s executive officer, the position he holds today.

Montgomery said that once he took over as commander, he heavily relied on Ruhnke and the relationships he had established to motivate Soldiers, staff and senior leaders to support and accomplish the unit’s missions.

“Many leaders and staff speak of his wonderful personality, rapid and effective communication, and contend that he is a man of action,” added Montgomery.

For Ruhnke, the Soldiers are his driving force, and he just tries to do what’s right and live the Army Values.

“There’s a certain fulfillment in leading Soldiers,” said Ruhnke. “It’s like being a teacher and being able to see them come up and make the most of themselves.

“I don’t have a magical to-do list to be nominated for this award,” Ruhnke added. “I believe that if you take care of your Soldiers, they will take care of you, and that you shouldn’t ask something of someone that you wouldn’t do yourself.

“The respect will follow,” Ruhnke said.

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

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