Army Specialist Nicolas D. Welsh was recently named a runner-up for the Train Advise Assist Command-East Soldier of the Year recognition.
Welsh, a 2012 graduate of Ceres High School and the son of Mike and Maureen Welsh of Ceres, and grandson of Bettye Welsh of Ceres, is currently serving as a rifleman with Headquarters, Headquarters Company, Fort Campbell, Ky. He has served in the military for two years and recently spent time in Afghanistan.
Only those who served in Afghanistan were considered for the recognition. Welsh returned from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan in October.
"It was a humbling experience making a difference in various parts of the world that need it the most," said Welsh. "We've actually brought Afghanistan quite a ways and we're going to continue to do so in the future. It's not a combat mission per se anymore; it's more of what they title ‘train, advise, assist.' It's not necessarily our fight any more, it's their fight."
Although he was not the final selection, just being one of three considered for the recognition is a high honor for the infantryman. Selection was based on the individual's exemplary duty performance, job knowledge, leadership qualities, teamwork, significant self-improvement, personal achievements, notable accomplishments, and community service and support.
Welsh was previously recognized as a Soldier of the Month out of a field of about 35 finalists and Soldier of the Quarter from a field of about four.
"It takes a lot of planning, preparation and also recommendations from senior leaders to even get to that point," said Welsh who said he tries his hardest.
Welsh said he is preparing to be moved in May to Fort Carson in Colorado with wife Marissa Welsh. He will be stationed there until 2019