News: Transportation Soldiers repeat at brigade board
Story by Sgt. Keith Anderson
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE Q-WEST, Iraq — Soldiers from the 70th Transportation Company won the 16th Sustainment Brigade's Warrior and Warrior Leader of the Quarter board here July 30, the second consecutive brigade quarter board for the transportation Soldiers from Contingency Operating Base Speicher to win.
Spc. Clinton Prentice, recovery team member, and Sgt. Anthony Gomez, shop foreman, both 70th Transportation Co., 264th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 16th Sust. Bde., took the titles of Warrior and Warrior Leader of the Quarter at the board.
Soldiers from Marez-East, Speicher and Q-West began the board process with a written test over various warrior tasks and skills. Then they competed in the actual board, where they were required to recite the Non-commissioned officer's Creed and the Soldier's Creed, disassemble their weapons for inspection, give a presentation on a weapons system, arrange military ribbons in order of precedence, and then answer questions on a variety of topics, including land navigation, Army programs, battle drills and warrior tasks, equal opportunity, physical training, current events and others.
The board encompasses many different aspects of a Soldier's responsibilities.
"How do I best assess the total Soldier concept?" said Command Sgt. Maj. James E. Spencer, command sergeant major, 16th Sust. Bde., and board president. "If you look at all the subject areas, they cover all the Soldier areas; it's the total Soldier concept. Now, it's just a snapshot, but looking at it as a total package you will figure out quickly where the weaknesses are."
Spencer said that the board shows where Soldiers are in their professional development.
"This is a validation of our junior leaders and how they're doing business," Spencer said.
Soldiers were also asked a question familiar to many who've gone through the board process, "Which Army value is most important to you?"
"Respect, sergeant major," Prentice said. "But I say, sergeant major, that you have to earn respect to get respect."
Prentice, a 23-year-old from West Hartford, Conn., on his first deployment, said he enlisted for the adventure.
"I joined the Army because I wanted to do something different," Prentice said. "Before I joined I was taking road trips. I love to travel, always did."
The self-described freestyle rapper and freestyle skateboarder said he competed at the board to help himself become a better Soldier and non-commissioned officer.
"I'm at the board because I want to better myself and advance as quickly as possible, and gain experience as I go through the process," Prentice said.
Gomez, a 27-year-old from Chicago, Ill., said he competed at the board to be a better NCO.
"I want to expand my proficiency as an NCO and [I competed] for the overall experience of competition at this level," said Gomez.
Gomez encouraged other NCOs to compete.
"It's definitely good for NCOs to attend boards because you keep expanding your levels of proficiency, and, if nothing else, for the experience," said Gomez.
Sgt. Ahmad Mahmoud, 70th Transportation Co., who won the brigade quarter board April 22, and the 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command's board May 22, was back at the board to sponsor Prentice and Gomez. Mahmoud, a native of Houston, Texas, said that being able to sponsor Soldiers was a better feeling than winning the board himself.
"It's what being an NCO is all about," Mahmoud said. "It's not just winning as an NCO, but being able to prepare Soldiers and bring them through, and then they win, that's what it's all about."