HARRISBURG, PA — A Soldier with the 28th Infantry Division, which is part of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, recently received a prestigious award for reserve component military intelligence Soldiers.
Staff Sgt. Matthew Haberle, a Soldier with the Intelligence and Sustainment Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 28th ID, and attached to the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade (Theater), was recognized as the 2021 recipient of the Colonel Carl F. Eifler National Guard award during the National Military Intelligence Foundation’s “Night of Heroes” virtual event Nov. 17.
Haberle served on Title 10 Contingency Operation for Active Duty Operational Support orders as the mission manager for U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s Federated Intelligence Program in Pennsylvania the past two years, facilitating real-world reach-back support to the 66th MI analytical control element.
“The award validates the importance and impact the FIP program has on the PA National Guard,” said Haberle. “Through this reach-back support capability, military intelligence professionals are able to plug into their weapon system over a drill weekend and actually preform the job they were trained to do. This motivates me to continue to improve myself as an all-source intelligence analyst and expand my skills as a leader, helping to foster an environment that allows our state’s intelligence professionals, both Army and Air, to also grow within the MI community and as leaders.”
The Colonel Carl F. Eifler award is the most prestigious award specifically created for reserve component military intelligence Soldiers, said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Zachery Norris, USAREUR-AF FIP production manager with the 66th MI.
“This particular award is given to one National Guard Soldier each year out of the nearly 11,000 potentially eligible military intelligence Soldiers across the nation – just one,” said Norris, also a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard. “All of the nominations were boarded at the Headquarters Department of the Army, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G2, before only a handful were sent for consideration as the one to be selected by Lt. Gen. Laura Potter, who serves as the deputy chief of Staff for intelligence of the United States Army. That’s a big deal – and not just for Haberle, but for the 28th ID and the PA National Guard.”
Norris said Haberle deserved the award for his contributions to the 66th MI and his exceptional leadership and mentorship of the Pennsylvania National Guard military intelligence force.
“Staff Sgt. Haberle consistently exceeded expectations when it came to working for the 66th MI, but he also expertly led a national military intelligence training strategy for the state,” said Norris. “MI readiness and retention have since turned the corner. We are seeing more and more MI Soldiers attribute their decision to extend their service obligations, in part, on account of this training strategy, while concurrently experiencing one of the highest levels of MI readiness the state has seen in more than 13 years.”
Some of the other accomplishments Haberle supported included expanding the program from 30 Soldiers to more than 70 Soldiers and Airmen across the PA National Guard; assisting in the production of more than 100 intelligence products through thousands of collective man-hours across six states, and bolstering the intelligence readiness operations capability (IROC) initiative of “no MI Soldier at rest” by making FIP reach-back support a priority for component 2 commanders.
Haberle credited a select group of key enablers and the hard work of the Pennsylvania military intelligence professionals around him.
“This recognition wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my dedicated superiors, peers and subordinates,” said Haberle. “The highest levels of success cannot be achieved without the help of others. We have a talented team of Soldiers and Airmen, many of whom work at national-level intelligence agencies full-time on the civilian side, which is reflected in the quality of production the team is able to provide. I’m thankful that the 28TH ID and the PA National Guard leadership saw the value this could have on our MI community, and I’m grateful they enabled me to grow it throughout the state.”
Eifler established and trained a paramilitary unit in the China-Burma-India Theater during World War II that taught indigenous people aspects of espionage and sabotage. The unit and its agents rescued more than 200 downed Airmen, sabotaged dozens of railroad systems and cleared the enemy from more than 10,000 square miles.
The first recipient of the Eifler award was retired Maj Gen. Edward Leacock in May 2000. Retired Col. Terry Quist was the first Pennsylvania National Guard Soldier to receive the award, in 2015.
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