La Médaille
"Esprit de Corps"

Each year, the National Regiment selects from a list of those worthy members who have unselfishly given of their time and energy to the hobby, and for the good of the regiment. Those receiving the award are known among the troops as the "Soldier of The Year." Originally conceived as an award by which the National Regiment could express its gratitude and appreciation to individuals in the military impression, it was soon recognized that on special occasions it may be awarded to individuals, groups of individuals, or units, who have made a significant contribution to the NR either through acts or deeds. Those receiving the award are honored with La Médaille "Esprit de Corps", which is announced at the Dress Parade during the Remembrance Day celebration in Gettysburg each November. The recipients are selected by direct vote of the Board of Directors. Their contributions to the National Regiment may be made in such a manner as to be unknown or unrecognized by the general rank and file of the organization. Outlined here, are the names of those members who, over the years, have been honored as "Soldier of The Year". Additionally, in 1992, 2000, 2002, and 2004, La Médaille "Esprit de Corps" was presented to deserving individuals or groups for their contribution to the Regiment and its members.

Soldier of the Year

1990 - Howard Ruhl, 12th New Jersey
1991 - John Travis, 5th New York
1992 - Donald Chaputa, 96th Pennsylvania
1993 - David Kohls, 2nd United States Regulars
1994 - Stanley McGee, 5th New York
1995 - John Morrow, 96th Pennsylvania
1996 - Frank Hall, 2nd United States Regulars
1997 - William Wilson, 1st Maryland
1998 - David Runner, 5th New York
1999 - Donal Rivera, 4th United States Regulars
2000 - Michael Sebor, 6th New Hampshire
2002 - James Wassel, 2nd United States Regulars
2003 - Charles Klein, 5th New York
2004 - Chip Smith, 7th Pennsylvania Reserves
2005 - Robert Childress, 3rd Maryland
2006 - John Heiser, 53rd Pennsylvania
2007 - Rick Betley, 8th Ohio
2008 - Ernest Barrack, 3rd Maryland
2009 - Tom Downes, 8th Ohio
2010 - Chris Sedlak, 9th Pennsylvania Reserves
2011 - Steve Hanson, 2nd United States Regulars
2012 - John Hooper, 7th Pennsylvania Reserves
2013 - Ted Brennan, 3rd Maryland
2014 - Craig Geppert, 116th Pennsylvania Volunteers
2015 - Timothy Viezer, 8th Ohio
2016 - Mark McNierny, 1st Pa Reserves
2017 - Keith Murray, 116th Pennsylvania
2018 - Matty Cronin, 6th NH Vol. Inf., Co. E Volunteers

La Médaille "Esprit de Corps

1992 - Helen and Dave Sequin
2000 - Harry Dierken
2002 - U.S. Christian Commission
2004 - Brian Pohanka

Lifetime Achievement Award

2009 - Bill Williams

"The Colonel's Challenge" started in 2015 to test the maxim: "A well trained soldier can load and fire three aimed rounds per minute." The contestants have ONE (1) MINUTE to fire three aimed rounds, all contestants following the prescribed loading by the nine count drill as described in “Infantry Tactics by Gen'l. Silas Casey, School of the Soldier”. The contestant in each heat, who fires three rounds the fastest, whether or not it is within the one minute time frame, will be declared the winner of that heat and will participate in the final round. The winner of each of the three preliminary rounds will not participate again until the final round so as to give as many men who so desire, an opportunity to compete. Other than the winners of each heat, a contestant may participate in more than one heat. The final round will consist of the winners of the first three heats. As officers are expected to be naturally most proficient at drill, contestants will be limited to enlisted men only. One or two men from each of the several companies (not units) on the field, to be named by the company commander. The participants of each heat will NOT participate in the previous firing demonstration to ensure each contestant will begin the contest with a clean weapon. Each contestant will be assigned a “spotter”, not of his company or unit, to ensure fairness. The "Load in nine count" drill will be followed implicitly! There will be NO palming of cartridges or priming caps. Paper WILL be rammed and ramrods MUST be returned to their channels after each round. Anyone found violating these rules (or any others I may think of) will be excluded from the contest. The winner of the final round will be declared the "Champion of the National Regiment" and shall be universally acknowledged as the man who can shoot his load faster than anyone in the Regiment.

The Colonel's Challenge Winners

2015 - Will Minsinger, 5th New Hampshire
2016 - Jeff Sabol, 3rd Maryland