News: Human Resources soldiers compete to be the best
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - It goes without saying that the Army could not function without human resources personnel. For every foot soldier on the front line, there is a soldier behind the scenes processing awards, creating orders and basically making the Army run. But they are more than just paper pushers, they are warriors; and that is what eight soldiers set out to prove during the first annual 1st Theater Sustainment Command Best Human Resources Competition held at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
Over the course of the three-day competition, the competitors were tested both physically and mentally, all vying for the elite privileged to be called the “Best HR Soldier.” The idea behind the competition was that of Lt. Col. Darwin Frett, 1st TSC, G-1, officer in charge, to highlight the soldiers in the HR community. “He wanted to give the HR soldiers a chance to display their abilities outside of what they do on a daily basis,” 1st TSC, G-1, Sgt. Maj. Peter Howell stated. “To show that they are more than just a personnel specialist or someone that just works behind the desk.”
Months of planning went into making the competition a challenging endeavor that would test the soldiers in all aspects of being an Army warrior. Sgt. 1st Class, Denise Love, 1st TSC, G-1, non-commissioned officer in charge, worked tirelessly for approximately 10 months to make it work for the soldiers. “I started looking at everyday HR functions and systems that all HR soldiers should know from Guard, Reservists to active component, but not all soldiers have access to all the systems,” she recalled about the challenges she faced. “So I came up with a test where they researched the applicable personnel regulations.” Love's idea turned out to be the golden ticket behind the Best HR competition.
Each day of the competition focused on a different warrior task.
On day one, the participants had to prove they were up for the challenge by passing an Army Physical Fitness Test and mere hours later their composure was put to the test when they appeared before 5 senior non-commissioned officers at a board. The questions they faced at the board were not HR related questions, but questions soldiers would face at a promotion board or soldier of the month board. The participants were asked more than 50 questions covering a wide array of Army knowledge.
In the early morning hours of the second day of competition, the eight warriors had to navigate from point to point answering HR related questions at each point during the orienteering test. Designed to mimic the hit reality television show “The Amazing Race,” each participant was given clues which led them to their next point on the course. Two written exams followed the orienteering course. One was a multiple choice type of test and the other was a scenario driven test. “They had to review a DA form 638 for accuracy, correct a memorandum and mail log. All of these are a variety of things they do every day,” Love stated. “More than half of a 42’s job is just about knowing where to find the regulations.”
By the third and final day of competition, the participants would have to face the Kuwait heat as they navigated through 5 different warrior task stations. They were all expected to know how to evaluate a casualty, search a detainee and fill out the paperwork correctly, move to contact, secure a checkpoint and communicate on a single channel ground and airborne radio system. Once all warrior tasks were complete, the soldiers had to wait for the awards ceremony to find out if they had earned the title of the best HR Soldier and NCO.
History in the making
Everyone involved in the 1st annual 1st TSC Best HR competition has had a hand in creating history – from the planners, to the participants. With the fist competition complete, the plans for expansion are already in the works. “I envision the competition going through the crawl, walk, run phase. We just completed the crawl phase,” stated Howell. “Next time, I want to see a larger turn-out, which will eventually drive it to be Fort Bragg or post wide. From there, we want to collaborate with the HR community to expand it to regimental-wide, all this with the full support from the Regimental Adjutant General Command Sgt. Maj., Command Sgt. Maj. Darlene Hagood.”
To make the competition potentially as large as the Best Ranger or Sapper competition, it will take hard work and dedication from those involved in the planning phase, like the strong leadership displayed by Love. “Her leadership abilities, drive and desire to lead the way as a senior non-commissioned officer exemplifies the be, know, do concept of a leader,” Howell says of Love’s devotion to make the competition a success.
Not only will the leadership add to the build-up of the competition, but it will take HR warriors like the eight in this year’s competition to take it to the next level. “HR personnel are never really thanked for the things they do,” Love says. “So this competition gave us a chance to show our talents because we are the total soldier in the sustainment community.”
And the winners are
Congratulations to Spc. Jeffrey Kreitner, a native of Coloma, Mich., for earning the title of Best HR soldier in the 1st TSC Best HR Competition. He is currently assigned to the 1st Battalion, 119th Field Artillery, as a human resources specialist.
Staff Sgt. Lashonda Pringle, a native of Norfolk, Va., has made history by becoming the first non-commissioned officer to win the 1st TSC Best HR Competition in the NCO category. Pringle is assigned to the 1st Human Resources Sustainment Center out of Fort Bragg, N.C.
Date Posted:06.30.2011 07:39
Location:CAMP ARIFJAN, KW
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