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17th Field Artillery Brigade wins another Gruber Award

1st Sgt. Grant M. Bolin, a senior noncommissioned officer with the 1st Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Field Artillery Brigade, stands with his family as he receives the Gruber Award on April 11, 2023, at JBLM. Photo Credit: Sgt. Joshua Oh

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JOINT BASE LEWIS MCCHORD -17th Field Artillery Brigade soldier, 1st Sgt. Grant M. Bolin, a senior noncommissioned officer with the 1st Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, received the Gruber Award on April 11, 2023.

The award was named after Brig. Gen. Edmund L. Gruber, who as a first lieutenant, composed the 1908 "Caisson Song." This song was later adapted to the "Army Song" we know today. The Gruber Award is an annual honor that is given to exceptional field artillery professionals who made significant contributions to the general field artillery's warfighting capabilities. Bolin was the second consecutive recipient of the award from the 17th FAB, which was won in the previous year by Cpt. Marissa Battinieri, the commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 17th FAB.

Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Fluharty, the command sergeant major of U.S. Field Artillery and Field Artillery School in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, visited the 17th FAB to personally award Bolin with the honor. Fluharty praised Bolin for his significant contribution to the field artillery branch.

"The biggest impact is the operational force and the feedback that they provide," said Fluharty. "That operational feedback helped develop the mission essential tasks, and different training criteria for the long-range hypersonic weapons in the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment. This is going to have an impact on the Army for years to come."

Fluharty would go on to state that the Army does not pay soldiers to innovate during the duty day. When soldiers typically go rest in their barracks or spend time with family, Bolin sacrificed that time for the betterment of all field artillery soldiers.

"Innovation typically comes after or before hours, and he is not the only one that feels that impact; his family does too as he sacrifices those hours to drive this thing forward," said Fluharty. "His family a lot of times will suffer those hours that he is away from home. So, to the family, I appreciate you supporting first sergeant in his efforts to make this happen."

As Bolin stood with his family while receiving his award, he also offered some words of encouragement and motivation to his junior enlisted and noncommissioned officers. With that said, he had a piece of advice to impress on his soldiers, which was to always exceed the requirements in order to be recognized as an earner in the battery.

"To the privates and young noncommissioned officers, just stay after it and do the extra time," said Bolin. "You don't have to punch that clock out at 1700, you can grind a little bit harder and do things that are out of the normal scope of what you are supposed to be doing already."

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