Jonathan Bentley is a man of few words, especially when asked about being honored at the state level for his service in the National Guard. He has served in the guard since 2011.
"This is a little bit of a surprise," Bentley told The Kansan when asked about being honored as the "NCO of the Quarter."
A resident of Wichita, he has served multiple guard posts before settling in at Newton. In addition to being awarded the state honor, he recently was part of pregame ceremonies at Arrowhead Stadium for a Kansas City Chiefs game — at midfield during the national anthem.
"That was pretty cool. It was the first time I had ever been to a big ballgame like that," Bentley said.
That's OK. Bently has deployed to stations around the world — both as an active service member and a member of the National Guard. By June, he will be deployed again, this time to Kuwait. He served with Old Ironsides at Ft. Riley before enlisting with the National Guard. He serves as a section chief for a Howitzer Paladin group.
But for now, he is getting a little attention. Bentley was named the Non-Commissioned Officer of the Quarter.
"He is considered one of the best NCO's in the state," said First Sgt. Wesely Poell, who nominated Bentley for the award. "He has been doing everything right and he is on his game."
Bentley was honored for his work during exercises at the National Training Center in California.
He, along with the rest of Charlie Battery from the Newton post, spent two weeks in the desert living out of humvees and support vehicles. Bently is attached to a Paladin — which is a self-propelled Howitzer.
"He basically lived on the gun for two weeks," Poell said.
During the training simulations, a support battalion was being attacked.
"Bentley took the initiative and called up, requesting to direct fire at the enemy and was granted permission," Poell wrote in his nomination for NCO of the quarter. "Bentley sited in on a TMP and destroyed it, killing the crew and taking out four other enemy soldiers. Bentley’s work ethic and hard work had a direct impact on the success of Charlie Battery and reflects great credit upon himself, Battery C, 1-161st FA BN, and the Kansas Army National Guard."