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Leonia police officer who served in Middle East gets Army National Guard honor

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Leonia Police Officer Sihoon Chung, a highly-decorated veteran of three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been named the top non-commissioned Officer of the Year for the 10,500-member New York Army National Guard.

Leonia Police Officer/U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Sihoon Chung

“This is a significant achievement,” said N.Y. Army National Guard Command Sgt. Major Frank Wicks. “It is evident that this sergeant  has the drive and determination to do what it takes to succeed.

“This is a clear indicator of a sergeant’s potential.  I am positive that we will see more great accomplishments from him in the future.”

A board of senior sergeants from each brigade selected the top non-com officer.

The soldiers then compete against one another in tests of military knowledge and skills, including physical fitness and marksmanship. The New York winners will go up against soldiers from other regional state National Guards before the ultimate competition against their counterparts in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve.

Staff Sgt. Chung, 35, of Ridgefield, became a father for the second time just seven months ago.

He served in the Army for four years before becoming a member of the guard in 2005, and since trained and mentored more than 300 soldiers, according to the New York State Division of Military & Naval Affairs.

Chung currently serves as an instructor in infantry skills with the 106th Regiment Regional Training Institute based at Camp Smith Training Center in Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.

“I’m very proud to have won the honor and to represent the 106th RTI ,” asid Chung, a regular participant in the Police Unity Tour. “It was a very good experience and something every NCO should experience. My supervisors suggested that I enter the competition and I’m glad I decided to do it.”

Chung served in Iraq  in 2002/03 and in 2004 as a scout sniper and then squad leader with the 82nd Airborne Division, as well as an instructor training the Afghan Army in Kabul Afghanistan with the New York Army National Guard’s 27th Brigade Combat Team in 2008.

His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Commendation Medal (three awards) the NATO Medal and the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross.

Chung is a graduate of Army Airborne School, Army Airborne Jump Master School, Air Assault Course, The Army Pre-Ranger Basic Instructor Course, the Army Small Group Instructor Course, the Army Primary Leadership Development Course, and Infantry Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course.

He and his wife, Eunkyung, have two daughters. The other is two years old.

Chung holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the State University of New York at Stonybrook. He is also a member of the Korean American Law Enforcement Association.

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