NY Army National Guard Sgt. Joshua Sanzo, a Schenectady resident, recognized as top Honor Guard Soldier by National Guard
LATHAM, NY (01/25/2019) New York Army National Guard Sgt. Joshua Sanzo, a Schenectady resident, has been recognized as one of the top military honor guard members in the country by the Army National Guard.
Sanzo coordinates military funeral services for the New York Army National Guard Honor Guard from the Hudson Valley north to the Canadian border and west to Utica. He has been named Army National Guard Honor Guard Soldier of the Quarter by the National Guard Bureau, the Department of Defense agency which oversees the state National Guards.
The award recognizes both Sanzo's military skills, and his work in administering the funeral honors program for the period of October, November and December of 2018.
Sanzo's unit is responsible for providing military funeral services at the Gerald B. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville. His element conducted over 900 funerals in 2018.
Anyone who served in the Armed Forces and was honorably discharged is eligible for military funeral honors.
Sanzo is one of 36 New York Army National Guard Soldiers on duty full time who make that happen, along with 90 to 100 Soldiers who perform the duty part time.
"Sgt. Sanzo represents the best of the Military Funeral Honors program by holding himself to the highest standard both on-duty and off-duty in performance, conduct, and appearance. He represents the total Soldier concept and is the epitome of the Soldier attributes while displaying true professionalism, discipline, fitness, focus, and precision. Sgt. Sanzo is an example within the Honor Guard as well as his unit, "according to a memorandum from Army National Guard Col. William C. Greer.
Being recognized by the National Guard for the first quarter of federal fiscal year 2019 puts Sanzo in the running for the Honor Guard Soldier of the year award for 2019.
The competition judges Soldiers on their fitness, their scores on a written test, their job performance, and their ability to demonstrate excellence in the drill and ceremonies required for conducting military funerals.
Sanzo, age 23, joined the New York Army National Guard in 2014 and serves as a military police Soldier. He also completed the Army's Air Assault School in 2017.
He attended the Army Basic Leaders Course in 2018 and graduated with honors on the Commandant's List. He has attended two Honor Guard training schools and was honor graduate in both instances.
He also earned the Army Physical Fitness Badge for getting the maximum score on the Army's physical fitness test.
He has personally played a part in conducting more than 530 military funeral services since joining the military funeral honors program in 2016.
"To me, personally, the most rewarding thing is to be able to give the veterans the honors they deserve," Sanzo said. "It is us being able to give back to the veterans and giving them their final salute and to lay a fallen brother to rest."