ELLSWORTH GUARDSMAN SELECTED AS SOLDIER OF THE YEAR
Spc. Gabriel K. Bailey, Ellsworth, is the Kansas Army
National Guard's (KSARNG) Soldier of the Year.
Bailey was selected for the honor on Feb. 19 by a board of
noncommissioned officers from KSARNG. Bailey was evaluated on
appearance and his knowledge of basic soldiering skills such as land
navigation, rifle marksmanship, drill and ceremony protocols,
nuclear/biological/chemical knowledge and other information required
of all KSARNG soldiers.
Prior to being named KSARNG Soldier of the Year,
Bailey had been selected as Soldier of the Year at the battery,
battalion and brigade level. According to Master Sgt. James Crosby,
who initially nominated Bailey, he submitted Bailey's name because "he
was the best qualified soldier in the battery."
"On the military side, he had qualified expert with
the 9mm pistol, scored a 285 (out of 300) on his Army Physical Fitness
Test, completed all common tasks for training year 2004 and completed
all of the recertification process for his 91W10 Military Occupational
Skill in the training year," said Crosby. "On the civilian side, he is
attending the University of Kansas and using the benefits of belonging
to the Kansas Army National Guard to his advantage. His attitude,
professionalism and dedication to duty are in keeping with what a
soldier nominated for this board should be. He is a true
citizen-soldier in every sense of the word."
Bailey is a medic for Detachment 1, Headquarters and
Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 127th Field Artillery, Lawrence.
A 1998 graduate of Ellsworth High School, he joined the KSARNG in
"The Guard offered financial and educational
opportunities," said Bailey, "but I always wanted to do something to
serve my country."
Bailey's goal is to become a physician's assistant in
the Guard. During the week, he is a junior at the University of
Kansas, Lawrence, working toward a bachelor's degree in human biology.
Bailey's selection as KSANRG Solider of the Year puts
him in the running for Soldier of the Year at the regional level,
which will be determined April 8 at Fort Dodge, Iowa. If selected
there, he will become eligible to compete for Solider of the Year at
the national level.
Bailey is the son of David and Kay Bailey, Ellsworth.