Vermillion sailor garners command accolade April 3

Vermillion sailor garners command accolade April 3 A U.S. Navy intelligence specialist from Vermillion was recognized in Miami, FL recently as the U.S. Southern Command junior enlisted person of the year for 2001.

At the 15th Annual Service-person of the Year Awards, hosted by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce April 3 at the Hilton Miami Airport & Towers, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class (IS3) Nichole Solberg received her award from Lt. Gen. Thomas J. Plewes, the keynote speaker and commander of U.S. Army Reserve Command.

Solberg has been in the Navy for 2 1/2 years and was selected for the command accolade after she competed against other nominees at a military board in January where she was judged on criteria of military appearance, communication skills, and a variety of joint-service related questions.

Solberg said she was nervous at first because of the keen competition and being scrutinized by a panel of senior noncommissioned officers. "There's a ton of pressure on you," she said. But, she spent a lot of time preparing, and her hard work paid off handsomely. She said she is honored by her selection and humbled by all the attention being given to her.

Also, because of her selection, Army Maj. Gen. Gary Speer, U.S. Southern Command acting commander in chief, decorated Solberg with the Joint Service Commendation Medal April 12 during a command awards ceremony at the headquarters in Miami.

Born in 1980 in Yankton, Solberg graduated in the top 15 percent from Vermillion High School in May 1999. She joined the Navy on July 20, 1999 and upon completion of recruit training, she received orders to the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Command in Dam Neck, VA, where she attended Intelligence Specialist "A" School and graduated in January 2000.

Upon graduation, she received orders to Miami, where she presently serves as a link analysis analyst.

Solberg is the daughter of Vermillion residents Alan and Teresa Solberg.

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