JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, VA – The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command G1/4 SGM, SGM Christian Carr, along with his NCOIC, MSG Paul Elliott and a team of AG NCOs hosted their annual Non-Commissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year Competition with SGM Christopher Stevens, FORSCOM G1 SGM and his team of NCOs led by MSG Blake Johnson. Both TRADOC and FORSCOM G1 teams combined efforts to ensure this competition was an incredible success.
TRADOC extended the competition this year to include U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM), so the Army’s two largest commands could recognize the Army’s very best HR professionals together. The competition consisted of nine comprehensive events designed to assess and evaluate the competitors’ critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills, as well as their overall physical readiness. “Historically, the AG NCO and Soldier of the Year competition has only been on paper,” said SGM Carr, “Meaning that the winning NCOs and Soldiers would be selected based only on what was shown in their records, we needed to change this to assess both leadership and technical attributes through an in-person competition”.
Last year, TRADOC changed this format for their own NCOs and Soldiers and created a competition for them to show in real-time their physical and mental agility as well as their technical skills.
“Leader Development is my biggest passion, and our competition is a culminating event of that in its best and most challenging form,” said SGM Carr. “I also wanted to ensure our most senior AG SGMs observed the rigor that these competitors endured, but more importantly being here to provide the absolute best mentorship our AG professionals could possibly receive.”
Immediately upon arriving and during inprocessing, all competitors were given two articles in which they had to construct essays based on the assigned topics. NCOs were given an article about one of Sergeant Major of the Army Grinston’s main efforts, eliminating dangerous behaviors among Soldiers. The Junior Enlisted Soldiers were charged with developing initiatives to improve recruiting and accessions efforts. Both essays were due before Day 3, with the intent of developing creative thinking, and time management skills.
The first day of the competition began with the physical readiness assessment, where participants competed for the top score on various physical training events, including four events from the ACFT, the three repetition maximum deadlift, hand release push-up, sprint-drag-carry, and plank. Additionally the competitors completed a one mile run.
Competitors were later tested on their knowledge of the Equal Opportunity program and the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program through a series of scenario events. These events were created to evoke the competitors’ critical thinking skills and demonstrate their ability to successfully navigate real-life situations where EO and SHARP violations may have occurred.
The NCOs also completed a reception and integration counseling portion, which demonstrated how well they could identify and alleviate any issues a new Soldier may have during their transition.
The following day began with a competitor-led staff ride at historic Fort Monroe, where each Soldier and NCO gave a 10 minute brief on the history and relevance of their assigned historical location. Competitors got into character as they presented their brief to their graders and fellow competitors.
SSG Monique Lambo, a human resources specialist participating in the event, dressed in a civil war nurse uniform to present her brief on the Fort Monroe General Hospital grounds. “What I have enjoyed most from this competition was the opportunity to challenge myself, network with other human resource specialists that I have met throughout my career, and receive mentorship from the Adjutant General Sergeants Major,” stated SSG Lambo.
The speed mentorship event was the newest addition to the competition this year, and was created to provide competitors the opportunity to speak one-on-one with the senior most AG Sergeants Major. The discussion covered various leader development topics and identified areas of improvement within the AG Corps, both on a strategic and operational level. “We are tapping into each other’s current and previous positions and experience to bridge the gap and share what we have learned in a small group setting where the Soldiers and NCOs on the receiving end are more apt to engage,” explained SGM Carr.
Following the final board appearance, competitors gathered for an awards ceremony to announce the winners. After the rigorous competition, only one NCO and one Soldier from both TRADOC and FORSCOM received the winning title.
Pictured below, CPL Jaida Andrews from Cyber Center of Excellence was selected as the TRADOC Adjutant General Soldier of the Year and SFC Dacquarias Payne from HQ, TRADOC was recognized as the TRADOC Adjutant General NCO of the Year.
Pictured below, SPC Isaa Alcala from 22nd Signal Brigade was selected as the FORSCOM Adjutant General Soldier of the Year and SSG Kevis Jones from the 101st Airborne Division was selected as the FORSCOM Adjutant General NCO of the Year.