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Murray soldier earns 2nd IBCT, 34th Infantry Division patch during Camp Dodge ceremony

JOHNSTON — Pfc. William R. Johnston, of Murray was part of approximately 40 Iowa Army National Guard Soldiers recently recognized during a patching ceremony held at the Camp Dodge Joint Maneuver Training Center in Johnston, Iowa.

This ceremony represents a time-honored tradition, where Iowa Citizen-Soldiers officially receive the left-shoulder military patch representing their unit of assignment in the Iowa Army National Guard.

It also marks completion of the Iowa National Guard Recruit Sustainment Program, a preparatory training program that provides new recruits the education and skills needed to excel during their Army Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training (military school).

These Soldiers represent today’s Iowa Army National Guard, which consists of 7,000 Citizen-Soldiers based in more than 40 communities across the state. Johnston, a 2012 graduate of Southwestern Community College, of Creston, Iowa, now becomes a Human Intelligence Collector with Company D, 224th Brigade Engineer Battalion, of Johnston. He is a 2010 graduate of Murray High School, of Murray.

Human intelligence collectors are responsible for information collection operations. They provide Army personnel with information about the enemy force’s strengths, weaknesses and potential battle areas.

“[I joined] to serve my community and country,” Johnston said.

Johnston was named honor graduate for academic excellence at his Advanced Individual Training.

By completing Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training, Johnston is now eligible for the Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Grant (NGEAP), a state-funded tuition assistance program for Iowa National Guard members who attend Iowa community colleges and four-year colleges and universities, both public and private. Under this program, Iowa National Guard members will receive tuition payment up to 100 percent of the State Regents’ rate, an amount up to $7,108 per academic year.

Johnston, son of Randall and Heidi Johnston, of Murray, is also eligible for the Reserve Component GI Bill, which pays a Soldier $600 per month while attending college, technical or vocational trade schools. And he’ll also receive monthly drill pay and 15 days of paid duty each year for Annual Training.

Go to www.iowanationalguard.com and click on the Recruiting tab for more information. You can also find more information about the Iowa National Guard by following us at www.facebook.com/IowaNationalGuard .

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