News: Husband, soldier, NCO of the Year
Story by Sgt. Edwin Rodriguez
FORT EUSTIS, Va. - Mom, dad, husband, or wife, soldier, leader – these are some of the important roles many soldiers in the U.S. Army fulfill. However, only one calls himself 7th Sustainment Brigade’s Noncommissioned Officer the Year and that is Sgt. Eddie Partee, an information technology manager assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade.
After winning the competition against other highly skilled soldiers in the brigade, he will go on to the 18th Airborne Corps NCO of the year competition and do his best to represent the ‘Resolute’ brigade.
”It felt great to win but it doesn’t stop there….I expect it to be more challenging, but I am ready. The hard part now is preparing for what are they going to ask me,” said Partee.
Ever since he joined the Army in 2007, Partee had the mentality to compete for Soldier of the Month, even as a private.
“It didn’t matter who I was going against, I felt I was going to win. I competed against a specialist who had so many ribbons on his chest, and I had only three…but after the results came out, I found out he won by only one question,” said Partee. “From then on I was motivated and confident that I could compete. Luckily others noticed and kept recommending me to go to more boards.”
Partee was no different than his peers when it came to study methods. But as he progressed in rank and responsibility, he used resources more readily available to him. He would sponsor his section soldiers while they participated in Soldier of the Month boards, which in turn made him even more prepared for his upcoming competitions. When he is at home, he receives the support of his wife, Staff Sgt. Cassandra Partee, and twins, Malia and Jayden.
“I have learned when you stop at the bare minimum you learn very little. I now take my soldiers to the board which constantly keeps my mind fresh,” said Partee. “At home, my wife quizzes me and tries to incorporate it into our daily routines.”
Noncommissioned officer of the year is a huge accomplishment which demands a lot of dedication and perseverance from junior leaders. Partee has no reservations with this, and for him, going to the board was never a question.
“The army is competitive. If you are not out there looking to be the best, then you won’t move up in position,” said Partee. “One way I knew that I could stand out in the company, battalion, and amongst my peers was to go to the board.”
Eighteenth Airborne Corps NCO of the Year would be a great accomplishment for him, but he really wants to be a drill sergeant. As a private in boot camp he didn’t know what his future would hold until he met a staff sergeant there.
“When I met my drill sergeant on that first day, I knew immediately I wanted to be in his position,” added Partee.
There seems to be no stopping Partee from reaching his military goals. He knows what he wants from life and how much his family counts on him. He believes that you can’t wait for others to make choices for you, especially when you want more responsibility and respect in the army.
“You will never know what you can do until you actually go to board. The benefits and accomplishments are there waiting for you,” said Partee. “Others will start to recognize you as someone who sets the example. Who knows, you could be the next command sergeant major, or could be standing right beside one.”