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Rotary taps soldier of month

POSTED: December 21, 2009 9:13 a.m.
Photo by Pat Watkins/

Rotarian John Baker reads from a Hinesville Rotary coin he presented to the club's December soldier of the month, PFC Justin Knuuttila.

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PFC Justin Knuuttila was honored by the Hinesville Rotary Club as its soldier of the month for December on Tuesday.
The private was born in July 1986 in Heillbronn, Germany. His father, SFC Michael Knuuttila was stationed at Ramstein Air Base at the time. The younger Knuuttila graduated from Dollar Bay High School in June 2004 and subsequently attended Michigan Technological University.
He joined the U.S. Army in January 2008 and completed basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. Following basics, he attended airborne school at Fort Benning and completed it in May 2008.
He then attended advanced individual training at Fort Lee, Va., and is now a parachuter rigger (MOS 92R, in military lingo) assigned with HHC USAG on Hunter Army Airfield, supporting the 1st Ranger Battalion.
Since assigned to Hunter, his superiors say Knuuttila has demonstrated great motivation and outstanding performance in his work. His dedication to his mission and training has set him apart from his peers and, in June, he won the Army Achievement Medal for performance in supporting the 151 Ranger Battalion.
Knuuttila’s awards also include the Global War on Terrorism Ribbon, National Defense Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, Basic Airborne Wings and Parachute Rigger Wings.
He says his goals for himself focus on developing his military proficiency. His short-term goals are to become a specialist as soon as he is eligible and to continue his education. His long-term personal goals include becoming a noncommissioned officer, completing a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and attending jumpmaster and HALO schools.
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