On March 6 retired 1st Sgt. Butch Gosselin, of Jackson, was presented with the Legion of Merit at the Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Station 1. The award was given in recognition for his 42-year military career and service in the Wyoming Army National Guard.
Maj. Mike Pezeshki, commander of the Wyoming Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion nominated Gosselin for the award. Pezeshki, who served with Gosselin in the 133rd Engineer Company and deployed with him to Iraq in 2006, said that he felt Gosselin had earned the honor for a career filled with exceptional service to his unit and his country.
“We have spent a lot of time together,” Pezeshki said. “The amount of work that this guy has done, the amount of work he can do, and the way he goes about it, is phenomenal.”
Pezeshki recalled in 2014, when Gosselin passed his annual Army physical fitness test, despite being scheduled later that month for a hip replacement. After undergoing surgery, Gosselin was back at drill the next month. Pezeshki said that this was just one example of Gosselin’s dedication to meeting Army standards and requirements, and providing leadership for the Soldiers in his unit.
Gosselin’s military career has seen several deployments, awards, and countless personal sacrifices as he spent time away from his family. He served with distinction leading the 133rd Engineer Company, where his leadership brought about changes in training and readiness standards, helping his soldiers be better prepared to respond to emergencies both at home and abroad. His innovations in training the unit resulted in higher readiness percentages overall, as well as the lowest attrition rate in the unit’s history, according to the Legion of Merit citation.
Gosselin continues to be a vital part community emergency response as a member of Jackson Hole Fire/EMS crew, where he has served since 2002.
The Legion of Merit is one of the highest honors given in the United States military, and is awarded for exceptional conduct and outstanding service.
Wyoming’s Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Luke Reiner, who presented the award, said that this was the first time he had given the award to a non-commissioned officer, with the distinction typically being given to high ranking officers and officials.
“We are thankful for the quality and caliber of a man like 1st Sgt. Gosselin,” Reiner said. “He earned this award by taking care of men and women in combat, and preparing them for combat back here. It takes men and women from our communities that have the guts to put up their right hand and say yes, and (Gosselin) is one of these people.”
Gosselin took the award in stride, and true to form, shifted the focus of the ceremony to what had been his priority throughout his service.
“I am very appreciative that I had the opportunity to serve with such incredible soldiers in my career,” Gosselin said.
“This (award) was unexpected, and at the same time when I accept this, it is not for myself. It is for all the soldiers I have served with – they are the main focus.”