Clint Clover to be honored as Shawnee’s Best

Shawnee School District No. 84 plans to continue a tradition of honoring one of Shawnee’s Best this week.

U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Clint Michael Clover is being recognized as the 2017-2018 Shawnee’s Best recipient.

The award was started in 2005-2006 to honor graduates of Shawnee High School at Wolf Lake for their achievements. Clover is a member of the Shawnee High School class of 2001.

With the award, the board of education of Shawnee District No. 84 recognizes a Shawnee High School graduate each year for his or her outstanding achievements beyond high school.  

Areas of achievement may include, but are not limited to academics, athletics, health care, law enforcement, military service, business, social work, public service and other career fields.

Clover is scheduled to be honored during homecoming festivities which are planned Saturday evening, Feb. 3, at the school. Homecoming is being celebrated this week at Shawnee High School.

The school district shared the following biographical information about Shawnee’s Best recipient Clint M. Clover:

First Sergeant Clover was born in Cape Girardeau on Jan. 9, 1983.

After playing college baseball and the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, had occurred, sending the nation’s military to war, he made the decision to serve his country.  

First Sergeant Clover entered the U.S. Army in January 2004, attending Infantry Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) on Sand Hill at Fort Benning, Ga.  

After graduating Basic and AIT, he continued with schooling and completed both Javelin and Airborne School prior to leaving Fort Benning.  

His other military schools include the Warrior Leaders Course, the Advanced Leaders Course Phase I and II, the Senior Leaders Course, the Army Combatives Course, the Combat Life Saver Course, Battle Staff, the Army Recruiter Course, the Station Commander Course and the Company Commander/First Sergeant Course.   

His next military school will be the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy.   

First Sergeant Clover is also completing his civilian education and is currently seven credits shy of earning his bachelor’s degree in business from Post University.  

He is looking forward to starting his master’s degree in organizational development and leadership next year.  

His military assignments include:

The 173rd Airborne Brigade Vicenza, Italy, where he served in Chosen Company as a rifleman, machine gunner & team leader.

The 82nd Airborne Division Fort Bragg, N.C., as a squad leader, platoon sergeant and Operations Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge.

The 3rd Recruiting Brigade, Chicago Battalion as a Recruiter and Station Commander.

The 2nd Recruiting Brigade, Baton Rouge Battalion, as a Station Commander and Interim First Sergeant.

Currently on assignment as the Company First Sergeant in charge of Cape Girardeau Recruiting Company, which covers Marion, Carbondale, Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff, Farmington and Festus.  

Achieving the rank of First Sergeant (E-8) in only 13 years is a rare feat.  He now has seven years to reach the top enlisted rank in the U.S. Army if he decides to retire with 20 years of service.  

He has completed three combat tours as an Airborne Infantryman/Paratrooper totaling 38 months: one 12 month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 173rd Airborne from (March 2005 to March 2006), a 14-month deployment from (June 2007 to August 2008) and another 12-month deployment from (August 2009 to August 2010) both to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 82nd Airborne Division.

His awards and decorations include:

The Bronze Star Medal; the Army Commendation Medal with five oak leaf clusters; the Army Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters.

The Army Good Conduct Medal (fourth award); the Meritorious Unit Citation; the National Defense Service Medal; the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

The Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze stars; the Afghan Campaign Medal with one bronze star; the Overseas Service Ribbon numeral 4.

The NCO Professional Development Ribbon (fourth award); the Drivers Badge; the Army Recruiter Badge; the Combat Infantry Badge; the Expert Infantry Badge; the Irish Foreign Parachutist Badge; and the Army Basic Parachutist Badge.

First Sergeant Clover is married to the former Chelsea D. Merryman of Cape Girardeau.

They have two children: 12-year-old Olivia and 8-month-old Athena.  

His sacrifices have come at a cost though and that comes in time lost that he will never get back, especially with his daughter Olivia: Missed birthdays, holidays, ball games, piano recitals, and way too many “firsts” to count.  

His one wish is that she understands the older she gets why he was not able to be there for her like he wanted to be. 

First Sergeant Clover is proud to call Wolf Lake home which is where his mother (Jill Mainer), father (Kingsley Mainer) and grandmother (Barbara Belcher) still reside.   

He has dedicated this award to his grandfather, the late Waymon Belcher, for giving him a role model to strive to emulate.

Past recipients of honor

Shawnee’s Best was started in 2005-2006. Those who have received the honor follow (some years had two recipients and other years had one):

2005-2006: Todd Pennington, professional baseball player, class of 1998.

2005-2006: Derek Winans, college academics and basketball, class of 2000.

2006-2007: Christy Burchyett, professional opera singer, class of 1973.

2007-2008: David Livesay, law enforcement, class of 1982.

2008-2009: Ken Blandford, Union County government, class of 1956.

2008-2009: Paul Ranson, retired educator, class of 1960.

2009-2010: Jackie Knupp Johnson, 2010 Alaska teacher of the year, class of 1987.

2009-2010: Edward M. Smith, president of ULLICO Inc., class of 1972.

2010-2011: Scott Tucker, Emmy Award winner, ABC TV director, class of 1980.

2010-2011: Diana Lambdin Meyer, award winning author, class of 1976.

2011-2012: Charles Cavaness, circuit court judge, class of 1974.

2012-2013: Dan “Rod” Wilson, Army, master sergeant, class of 1983.

2013-2014: 1981 Shawnee baseball team, state final four.

2013-2014: 2013 Shawnee baseball team, third place at state.

2014-2015: Col. Nick Myers, U.S. Air Force, class of 1983.

2015-2016: Mike Hanson, Shawnee educator, class of 1973.

2015-2016: Shelly Clover-Hill, Shawnee educator, class of 1988.

2016-2017: Sean Copeland, radio personality, class of 2003.


The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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