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NEWS | Feb. 22, 2023

Retiring Army Reserve Soldiers Honored at Chicago Bulls NBA home game

By Capt. Michael Ariola 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command

The National Basketball Association’s Chicago Bulls honored U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Maj. Dennis Koski, and Sgt. 1st Class Cedrick Harding of the 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command, during a home game versus the Charlotte Hornets at the United Center, February 2, 2023, in Chicago.

Koski and Harding, two retiring Soldiers, with multiple deployments each, were publicly honored before the game during the ‘Military Moment’ recognizing their combined service and accomplishments in the active Army and U.S. Army Reserve.

Koski served as the brigade operations sergeant major and tactical operations center non-commissioned officer in charge for the 372nd Engineer Brigade during a 2009-2010 deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

While deployed to Kuwait in 2017-2018, Koski served as the senior engineer for the 420th EN BDE, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve across Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Jordan and Syria.

During a 2019-2020 deployment to Iraq with the Corps of Engineers in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, Koski served as the task force sergeant major for Task Force Essayons.

Harding served as a personnel administration specialist for 3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division during a 2003 deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

During a 2007-2008 deployment to Iraq with 1st Armored Division Headquarters at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Harding served as the non-commissioned officer in charge of the Iraq Visitors Bureau.

Additionally, Harding deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 with the 236th Inland Cargo Transfer Company in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Koski and Harding received a standing ovation from thousands of spectators during their recognition there.

“It was a totally exciting and exhilarating experience. The Bulls and the crowd were fantastic and made us feel incredibly special,” said Koski.

Following his recognition on the court, Harding, a native of Chicago, further reflected on his recognition.

“Thank you to the 85th Support Command and Chicago Bulls for providing me this opportunity to be recognized for a job well done in my hometown where I first enlisted during the Army's ‘Be All You Can Be’ campaign," said Harding.

Koski’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal and three Meritorious Service Medals, among other awards throughout his years of service.

Harding’s top military awards include four meritorious service medals, and the Army Commendation Medal with “V” Device.

Harding, enlisted in 1999 and will retire this March with 24 years of service, and Koski will retire this April with 38 years of service.

The Chicago Bulls defeated the Hornets 114-98.