WIESBADEN, Germany — This year’s Engineer Soldier of the Year for the active Army is a Fort Bragg sergeant who earned the award for his service with U.S. Army Europe.
Sgt. Adam Day was named Engineer Soldier of the Year for the active Army by the Corps of Engineers for his achievements while deployed to Afghanistan with USAREUR’s 9th Engineer Battalion, 172nd Infantry Brigade. The award was announced at the Army’s Engineer Center at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., in mid-April.
Day was nominated for the award by his unit leadership. Known as the Van Autreve Award, the honor is named for the late Sgt. Maj. Leon Van Autreve, a longtime engineer Soldier who served as the fourth sergeant major of the Army.
“Sergeant Day was an easy choice to represent our organization at the Army level as the Van Autreve candidate,” said 1st Sgt. Aaron Beckman, Day’s platoon sergeant during the deployment and former “Top Engineer” in 2009.
While deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Day’s unit was assigned to Combat Outpost Curry, a remote base in southern Paktika province. Beckman described duty at the base as rigorous, with cramped and unpleasant conditions; conditions that Day improved during his combat tour there.
Day used his knowledge of carpentry to plan and construct more than 30 projects on the base during his deployment, ranging from maintenance and dining areas to morale, welfare and recreation facilities for his fellow Soldiers.
“Because of our remote location at COP Curry, we lacked much of the infrastructure afforded to larger locations. Sergeant Day was the main reason Bravo Company was able to bridge that gap,” said 1st Lt. Raymond Vetter, Day’s platoon leader during the deployment.
Day also used his skills in constructing defensive works to design and build several improvements to the outpost’s security.
At the same time he trained continually on engineer and Soldier tasks of identifying and destroying roadside bombs and small unit tactics, helped train the unit’s Afghan National Security Force partners, and took part in joint security patrols throughout Afghanistan’s Gomal district.
“His ability to be a full-spectrum engineer and fight as infantry was proven day in and day out,” Beckman said.
While Day earned the Van Autreve for service with a USAREUR unit, he departed Europe prior to the award announcement and is attending airborne training.