By Sgt. Melissa N. Lessard
504th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade
Five deserving professionals from Fort Hood were presented with the Lt. Col. Thomas Knowlton Medal for their significant support and contributions to the Military Intelligence Corps during a ceremony at Club Hood on Friday.
Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians, MI professionals and family members sat in an elegantly-set room during the MI Ball. The five professionals stood in a line while the award was draped over their head.
Maj. Gen. Gary Johnston, commanding general of U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and Charles Atkins, the president of the Military Intelligence Corps Association, presided over the ceremony.
The MI Corps Association (MICA) established the Knowlton Award in June 1995. Lt. Col Thomas Knowlton, the father of Military Intelligence, who served under Gen. George Washington, created and led a group of intelligence gatherers known as the Knowlton Rangers. They made significant contributions to the war effort during the American Revolution; as such, these awardees are recognized for making significant contributions during their careers to the MI Corps.
Johnston and Atkins presented the award to the following individuals: Chief Warrant Officer 1 Zachary Amsden, 303rd MI Battalion, counterintelligence technician; 1st Sgt. Alfred Cooper, 163rd MI Battalion, A Company; Maj. Eileen Pierce, 303rd MI Battalion executive officer; Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Austin, 303rd MI Battalion senior enlisted advisor; and Dr. Wayne Prosser, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, supervisory geospatial officer.
After the awards were presented, Johnston stood to the side and said, “This is a big deal, this does not happen every day. This is a lifetime award. If you don’t take time to cement it in your mind, then it is just another award. You are in the halls of the MI Corps forever.”
Prosser, who has worked in geospatial intelligence for the past 12 years, gave his thanks for being allowed to serve at the Fort Hood home for so long. He said he does not want to leave because this is where all the action is.
Regarding his job he asked, “Does it really work? Can you get the data? Can you use it for something that matters?
“I’ll know every day that I did something that matters. It’s because of you,” he said as he addressed the crowd of MI professionals.
Another recipient, Pierce, said she has wanted the award since she was a second lieutenant. She attended her first ball at the time while other MI professionals were receiving the award. At the time she did not know what it meant, but she does now.
“It’s an exceptional honor,” she said.