Blood Knights and Watch Dogs awarded 8th Army Command Readiness Streamers

by William Wight, 65th Medical Brigade Public Affairs
Stripes Korea

YONGSAN, SOUTH KOREA -- The Eighth United States Army has an adage that is well known throughout the Republic of Korea: "Fight Tonight!"

For the Soldiers of the 95th Blood Detachment and the 5th Medical Detachment, both subordinate units of the 168th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, their high standards of excellence were applauded August 4, by Lt. Gen. Thomas Vandal, 8th Army commanding general, who presented the two companies with guidons for the Commander's Award for Command Readiness.

"Readiness is the cornerstone of 8th Army! As both individuals and units our duty every single day is to ensure we are ready to 'Fight Tonight'," said Vandal. "As the 8th Army Commander, my priorities remain readiness, teamwork, leadership and discipline. These four pillars define how we fight and win, and how we remain the best fighting organization in the entire Pacific. The units within the 65th Medical Brigade are doing an outstanding job, maintaining high standards while executing the mission."

The commanding general went on to explain that the Commanders Award for Excellence is about readiness, physical readiness training, weapons qualification, no misconducts, no alcohol related incidents and Soldiers setting the standard and leading themselves.

"All personnel in our formations must be ready and resilient. We can achieve the highest readiness by focusing on our warrior fundamentals and truly understanding standard operating procedures (SOP) and operational plans (OPLANs). Physical fitness is one of the key areas of ensuring we are ready to 'Fight Tonight'," said Vandal.

To be eligible for the Commander's Award for Command Readiness the unit must have an average physical fitness score of over 260 on the Army Physical Fitness Test with five percent of assigned Soldiers earning the Army physical fitness badge; 90 percent marksmanship qualification for assigned weapons with ten percent of assigned strength qualified as expert; zero recordable Class A or B accidents; zero readiness recall violations; zero alcohol related incidents; zero SHARP related incidents; maintain the equipment readiness standards for critical equipment; maintain the 8th Army standard for medical readiness of 90 percent and maintain the 8th Army standard for personnel readiness of 90 percent.

Since its inception over the last six months, the Commander's Award for Command Readiness has only been achieved by one other unit within 8th Army.

"The Republic of Korea (ROK) is unlike any other theater of war. We have the unique opportunity to work shoulder to shoulder along with our ROK partners to strengthen the Alliance and truly invest in our combined partnership," said Vandal. "As professional Soldiers, we must also continue to build trust among our teammates by operating in an environment that promotes respect and discipline. Congratulations to the 95th 'Blood Knights' and the 5th 'Watch Dogs' for achieving this high honor."

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