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Local People

Capt. Robert Prah, Jr., Executive Officer for the 327th Quartermaster Battalion, was promoted to the rank of Major in a ceremony on Dec. 16 with more than 45 friends and family in attendance in the LGI room at Yough Senior High School. Prah of Rostraver Township, graduated from Yough Senior High School and lettered in two sports while at Yough.

Promo 1 Prah
Maj. Robert Prah, Jr. is 'pinned' by his parents, Tami and Robert Prah (right), his grand-father Nunzio Santo Colombo (far left), and his wife Carolyn and daughter Madison (center).

“The armed services have a long-standing tradition of celebrating the promotion of its members in a formal ceremony, and with friends and family able to attend, this is no different,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jesse Maund, a fellow graduate of Yough Senior High and current Team Leader with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s recruiting & retention battalion. Maund served as the master of ceremonies.

Prah was commissioned as a second lieutenant of infantry in 2006 from California University of Pennsylvania. His previous command and leadership assignments include commanding Company D, 112th Infantry (Stryker); intelligence officer with HQ, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team; intelligence officer with the 1st Battalion, 111th Infantry (Ben Franklin’s Regiment); battle captain and plans officer with the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Washington, Pa.; and team chief, 2nd Battalion, 312th Infantry – 1st Army Division East. He has been mobilized twice: in 2003-2004 as an enlisted infantryman in support of Operation Noble Eagle & in 2008-2009 as an intelligence officer in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Prah’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in justice studies and a master’s degree in law & public policy with a concentration in homeland security. He is a graduate of the intelligence basic officer leader course, intelligence in combating terrorism course, information operations course, the maneuver captains career course at Ft. Benning, Ga., and is currently enrolled in the command & general staff college through Ft. Leavenworth, KS (TASS).

Promo 2 Prah
Maj. Robert Prah, Jr. reacts to comments during his promotion ceremony on December 16, 2019 at Yough Senior High School. Seated to Maj. Prah's left is Lt. Col. Kevin Kropf, host of the promotion ceremony.

“Today is a special day for the Army, Rob’s family and his community,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Kropf, organizational integrator-maintenance, G-37, Pentagon. “When we think about promoting a captain to major, that is a pretty big deal. As a field grade officer, there is a significant increase in responsibility and decision-making. Rob is now second-in-charge of more than 500 Soldiers in his battalion. When the Army promotes officers, they promote based on performance and potential. Rob has clearly demonstrated the abilities to perform at the next higher grade and performed quite admirably throughout his service,” he said.

The event was hosted by Lt. Col. Kevin Kropf, Prah’s close friend and comrade from his deployment to Iraq. Retired Army Maj. (Ret.), Dr. Michael Hummel served as Maj. Prah’s guest speaker.

Prah said he wanted to focus on two terms most often glossed over in other ceremonies — trust & resiliency.

“I have been more than fortunate to surround myself around hard-working, trustworthy and extremely resilient Soldiers in my nearly 19-year career. As a company commander and senior staff officer at the battalion and brigade levels, you must be able to trust your Soldiers will do the right thing and work together as a team. My strong relationship with seniors, peers and all the Soldiers I have served with has helped me in my career. We have to work together to accomplish the mission. There is no alternative,” Prah said.

“The support from my wife, daughter and parents has been remarkable. Serving as a citizen-Soldier, a dual-military couple and taking care of Soldiers takes a lot of dedication,” he said. “Achieving this promotion to Major is truly humbling.”

Promo 3 Prah
Maj. Robert Prah, Jr. thanks Maj. (Ret.) Michael Hummel after his remarks during the ceremony. Maj. (Ret.) Hummel has been a close friend of Maj. Prah and was Prah's first instructor in the Army R.O.T.C. program at nearby California University of Pennsylvania. Hummel is a professor at California University of Pennsylvania and is a part-time police officer in the Mon Valley.

Prah was pinned by his wife Capt. Carolyn Prah and daughter Madison; parents, Robert & Tami Prah; his sister and brother in law and their son, Stephen, Rachael and Stephen Sholtis; his grand-father, Nunzio Santo Colombo; and two of his best-friends, Greg Sobek and Chad Kitz.

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