SJC Student Wins Soldier of the Year

June 10, 2013

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. JUNE 11, 2013 St. Josephs College (SJC) is pleased to announce that Rachel Blanchette, Army National Guard specialist and SJC student, was named Soldier of the Year after winning the annual, two-day Best Warrior Competition held in March at the New York National Guard headquarters.

Serving in the New York Army National Guard since 2009, Ms. Blanchette was one of only two women who competed against 13 other soldiers from across the state in a competition that tested their military knowledge, physical fitness and military skills, such as dismantling a light machine gun and putting a radio into operation.

"Winning Soldier of the Year for New York State was a huge accomplishment for me personally and professionally, said Ms. Blanchette. "As a female in the military, you have to be just a little better than the rest in order to be seen as equal to the males. I'm very proud of this opportunity to help put women on the map in the strongest National Guard state in the country.

A resident of Patchogue, Ms. Blanchette is majoring in organizational management at SJCs Long Island Campus while serving full-time in the New York Army National Guard and as the Military Forces Honor Guard Coordinator for New York, providing military honors at the funerals of 300 veterans each month.

In addition, Ms. Blanchette has been awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.

For more information on military benefits at SJC, contact Shannon ONeill at 631.687.2678 or [email protected]