RIGA, Latvia – The Latvian Chief of Defense awarded a U.S. senior noncommissioned officer a Certificate of Recognition for his work as the Operational Communication and Information Systems Branch (J-6) staff assistant for network support and management.
Sgt. 1st Class Terrence Williams, an information technology specialist assigned to Allied Forces North Battalion, with duty at NATO Force Integration Unit Latvia in Riga, was assigned to the unit in 2019 and immediately started making an impact on the unit’s capabilities.
According to Lt. Col. Janet Phillips, the NFIU Latvia U.S. senior national representative, Williams is the first U.S. Army noncommissioned officer to receive a Certificate of Recognition from the Latvian Chief of Defense.
“He approaches his duties with high professionalism and accuracy,” said Phillips. “In a short period of time, he created excellent cooperation with colleagues, counterparts in the others NFIUs and Multinational Corps Northeast.”
Phillips said that when Williams first arrived at the unit, he served as the CIS lead for redesigning the unit SharePoint website greatly enhancing the capability to share and transfer files by 30% while simultaneously establishing a comprehensive SharePoint training program that enabled the unit to more effectively use the website functions and tools.
“More recently, despite travel restrictions, he proactively continued to coordinate mission requirements with higher headquarters and presented solutions to tactical communication problems streamlining the configuration of virtual meeting rooms using Skype for Business during COVID-19,” said Phillips. “His initiative resulted in zero lapse in communication and identified a solution to present slides during video teleconference meetings.”
“I guess you could say I’m pretty helpful. Sometimes I go out of my way to make sure everyone is taken care of,” said Sgt. 1st Class Williams.
Williams attributes his work ethic to his upbringing combined with a desire to see his unit excel.
“I’ve never been comfortable with the bare minimum,” said Williams from Baltimore, Maryland. “I would rather go above and beyond if I can as far as my job is concerned, helping out, helping people. If I can make it better, I will make it better.”
Williams said he is thankful to be able to “stay healthy and happy while serving his country for the last 22 years.” He advises young Soldiers to always look for the best in every assignment and to take advantage of any down time to work toward career development goals.
NATO force integration units are part of the NATO Force Structure under the primary responsibility of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe. NFIU Latvia is one of eight NFIUs together with those in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.
The mission of the NATO Force Integration Units is to help facilitate rapid deployments, support collective defense planning and assist in coordinating training and exercises.
Approximately half of the NFIU Latvia personnel come from Latvia with the remainder from NATO allies Belgium, Denmark, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.
U.S. Army NATO Brigade provides support to Soldiers and their families to provide ready and resilient Soldiers to the NATO alliance, maintain our joint and multinational partnerships and enhance the alliance. The brigade is the U.S. Army support element for units at 81 locations in 22 countries.