On January 11, United States Army Captain Michael Sharp, Commander of the 262nd Component Repair Company was awarded the Kirkwood Award. The honor was presented to Captain Sharp by Brigadier General Scott Chambers, Assistant Adjunct General of the Delaware National Guard, during the Army breakout sessions of the Senior Leaders Conference held in Dover, Delaware.
More that 500 of the Delaware Guard’s senior leaders assembled at Dover Downs in Dover Delaware as Sharp received the Kirkwood award as part of the 15th annual Senior Leaders Conference to discuss the future of the Guard and Reserves. The Kirkwood Award is named after Captain Robert Kirkwood, who was frequently cited as the most outstanding Company Commander of the Revolutionary War, serving in the First Delaware Regiment. The award is based on leadership, training, recruiting, retention and results from accomplished tasks, inspections and audits.
“It was one of the best days in The Guard and a good feeling to be recognized in front of my peers,” commented Captain Sharp. “It was amazing, you really do not recognize all that you do until someone tells you.”
Mike graduated from Milford High School in 1997 and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Delaware State University in Social Studies Education. At age 21, Sharp enlisted in the Delaware National Guard as a medic in the 153rd Military Police Company. Wanting to do something for his country, he followed in his grandfather’s footsteps that served for forty years in the Army reserves.
In 2002 Sharp was deployed with the 153rd Military Police Company in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the capital and largest city of that country. In 2003 Mike graduated Officer Candidate School on September 11, 2004 and became the Commander of the 262nd Component Repair Company, in charge of training and missions for roughly 150 soldiers. In 2008 Sharp’s company joined the 261st Signal Brigade in Baghdad, Iraq, where they were stationed for ten months. While overseas, his crew maintained vehicles, generators, weapons and ammunition for American Soldiers during one of the deadliest years of the Iraq War, according to the New York Times.
Away from home for a year, technological advances were in his favor as he was able to use Skype and Facebook to connect with his family back in the United States.
“I could contact them whenever I needed to, it made it a little easier,” commented Sharp. “When my grandfather served, he was only able to write letters back home once in two years.”
Back at home, Sharp continues his service in the Guard making sure his soldiers are proficient in training and maintenance. In his civilian life, Mike is currently serving his second year as a counselor at the Milford High School. He has worked with the district for nine years in many capacities including as a history and business teacher. His thirteenth year in the Delaware National Guard he is thankful for his chance to serve.
“It is something I always wanted to do for my country,” commented Sharp. “It gives me a chance to help my community.”