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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- North Carolina National Guard officer honored with the MacArthur Leadership Award at ceremony hosted by of Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno, here, May 30.  Army Capt. William Dudley of the NCNG's 505th Engineer Battalion and 27 of his peers from Active, Guard and Reserve units worldwide earned recognition as the best company grade officers.
 
"It is truly an honor when you consider who came before, it is very humbling, said Dudley.
 
At the ceremony in front of hundreds of friends, family and fellow Soldiers, Odierno gave each recipient a bronze statue of MacArthur and thanked them for leading Soldiers under difficult conditions.
 
"They are going to be leading us for a very long time, I am very proud of them," said Odierno As the battalion's Administrative Officer, Dudley is responsible for the training and readiness of nearly 800 Soldiers. Previously, Dudley deployed as the commander of the NCNG's 875th Engineer Company to Kuwait and Afghanistan in 2012 - 2013.
 
"I had a bunch of good Soldiers, platoon leaders and sergeants who made a very challenging mission look easy," said Dudley.
 
The award was created by the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation and Army to highlight the most effective junior officers in the Army.
 
"There is no more important job than a company grade officer," said Odierno.
 
Since 1987, only 677 leaders, from many thousands of officers serving, have been chosen for this award.
 
"To represent the Guard and to learn each other stories, it was inspiring," said Dudley.