Fort Riley Year of Honor Continues

The 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley will host the next Big Red One Year of Honor event this week on Wednesday. This month’s theme is “Valor.”

According to Fort Riley, the  day begins at 9:30 a.m. with a Commemoration Ceremony in Victory Park honoring Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. James Bondsteel for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War in May,1969. Maj. Gen. D.A. Sims, 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley commanding general, will host the ceremony, and highlight Bondsteel’s heroic actions of leading an attack against several enemy bunkers and helping wounded comrades while also being critically wounded. A virtual livestream will also be available at the following link:

Soldiers and civilian employees will then participate in Valor Leadership Panels with local police, fire department, and 1st Infantry Division Silver Star recipients. Maj. Gen. Sims said, “Valor is our panel focus for May and the group for our Leader Professional Development sessions will consist of five individuals, military and civilian, who will discuss the difficult situations in which they found themselves and their corresponding display of bravery and courage.” Links to the panel sessions are below:

Session 1, 10:30 a.m.:

Session 2:  1:30 p.m.:

 Participating panel members include Capt. Erin Freidline, Investigation Division Commander of the Riley County Police Department; Lt. Ryan Mellen, Topeka Fire Department; and three 1st Infantry Division Silver Star recipients—Sgt. 1st Class Jose Arocha, Sgt. 1st Class Raphael Collins, and Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Miller, a former Prisoner of War.

 The Big Red One Year of Honor is a year-long observance of the 37 service members who earned the Medal of Honor while serving with the 1st Infantry Division.  By extension, the campaign will enhance esprit-de-corps, foster leader development, and increase unit morale and cohesion through authentic examples of virtue, valor, victory, leadership, and living a life of honor.