News: AUSA: Utah National Guard member is US Army’s NCO of the Year
Story by Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill
ARLINGTON, Va. – For the second time in three years – and for only the second time in history – a National Guard member has been named the U.S. Army’s Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year.
The Utah Army National Guard’s Sgt. Guy Mellor, 24, chose to take a semester off school to focus solely on preparing for the 2011 Best Warrior Competition – and his dedication paid off at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual meeting and exposition in Washington on Monday.
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III announced that Mellor is the U.S. Army’s NCO of the Year.
“It takes a lot to train for this,” Mellor told the U.S. Army Public Affairs Midwest office during the 2011 Best Warrior Competition at Fort Lee, Va., last week.
“It takes a lot of commitment, a lot of dedication, a lot of hours’ studying, a lot of hours’ working out and preparing to come and compete at this level,” he said.
First nominated by his unit – B Battery, 1st Battalion, 145th Field Artillery in Manti, Utah, – the gunner competed at a series of local, state and regional levels before making it to the Department of the Army level.
The Fayette, Utah, native said a period working at the Utah National Guard’s Regional Training Institute helped him prepare.
He is a traditional Guard member who took a semester off from his college civil engineering studies to focus solely on preparing for the Department of the Army-level competition after he was named the Army National Guard’s NCO of the Year in August.
“I’ve enjoyed the process of training and pushing myself and learning more and acquiring more traits, … more military knowledge, and it’s just helped me become a better, more rounded, outstanding soldier,” he said during the Best Warrior Competition.
The Best Warrior Competition – where Mellor was competing with active duty and reserve soldiers – included a physical fitness test, written test, board interview in front of seven of the Army’s top leaders, land navigation, shooting and battle drills, Mellor said in an interview with a local radio station.
Shooting, the obstacle course and urban operations were among Mellor’s favorite parts of the competition, he said. The toughest part? A night land navigation event with a rucksack and gear, he said. “I tried to run the entire time,” he said.
As a specialist in 2009, Mellor was named the Army National Guard’s Soldier of the Year and competed in that year’s Best Warrior Competition.
Mellor challenged other soldiers to seek nomination to the NCO and Soldier of the Year events.
“Put in the effort,” he said, “because [you’re] going to improve [yourself] so much and … be a good asset to [your] unit and to the entire Army.”
The first Guard member to receive the Department of the Army honor was the Montana Army National Guard’s Staff Sgt. Michael Noyce Merino, in 2008.