News: Leading Warhorse
Story by Sgt. Marcus Fichtl
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – Six soldiers, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, will compete for the Brigade’s Noncommissioned Officer or Soldier of the Year competition at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, from April 24 to 26.
For the six soldiers to get to this point, they were required to win one of the three brigade level NCO or soldier of the quarter boards throughout the brigades global footprint, which include Kuwait, Qatar and the United States. The boards are formal evaluations where command sergeants major of the brigade evaluate each soldier on their presence, military bearing, writing ability, physical fitness and ability to articulate the Army’s wealth of knowledge.
“A soldier needs to read the reference guides, the study guides, understand (memorandum of instruction), read (field manuals), and know (Army regulations),” said Sgt. Matthew Miller, cannon crewmember, Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd ABCT. “There are a million questions they can ask you. It’s impossible to know them all, but you need to be ready and confident enough to answer what you know.”
The common emotion before knocking three times to enter the board room is a mix between anxiety and confidence.
Even, Sgt. Danielle Welsh, petroleum supply specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 204th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd ABCT, who is working on her second masters, maxed her Army Physical Fitness Test and previously reached the top rungs in similar competitions across the Army, felt the effects of 20 minutes alone in front of the senior leadership.
“I am so nervous every time before I go to a board, each board is like the very first board,” said Welsh. “But I tell myself it’s going to be over soon and the nervousness focuses me through the board.”
To combat tension before a board, soldiers know preparation is key.
Spc. Elizabeth Laskey, military analyst, Company A, 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd ABCT, with little more than a year in the Army, is going through the process for the first time.
“The first board was really hard, it broke me down,” said Laskey. “Then I realized no board can be this bad. I kept motivating myself to learn more so I wouldn’t embarrass myself next board.”
Laskey went to her NCOs and tapped them for their expertise and spent her free time absorbing their knowledge while also pushing herself in the gym.
She said falling out wasn’t an option and pushing herself past the quitting point was the only way to move forward.
“Whatever I do now, will help me tomorrow,” said Laskey.
The winner of the NCO and Soldier of the Year competitions will travel to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait and compete in the U.S. Army Central’s Best Warrior Competition this coming May.
Welsh reflected on the value of her military service, including participating in the brigade’s boards.
“The military is an image of freedom to our county, sometimes we don’t see small scale what we are doing, but the presence and relationships we build is what makes what we are doing important."
The soldiers who will be competing in the Brigade’s upcoming soldier and NCO of the year competition are:
-Spc. Elizabeth Laskey,a native of Vincennes, Indiana, intelligence analyst, Company A, 2nd Special Troops Battalion
-Spc. Brandon Bordner, Infantryman, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment
-Sgt. Timothy Martin, a native of Waipahu, Hawaii, wheeled vehicle mechanic, Company B, 204th Brigade Support Battalion,
-Sgt. Danielle Welsh, , Santa Rosa, Calif., petroleum supply specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 204th Brigade Support Battalion
-Sgt. Matthew Miller, Streetsboro, Ohio, gunner crewmember, Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment
-Sgt. Tyree Kitchen, Florence, Alabama, power generation equipment repairer, Company B, 204th Brigade Support Battalion
Date Posted:03.29.2014 07:46
Location:CAMP BUEHRING, KW
Hometown:FLORENCE, AL, US
Hometown:SANTA ROSA, CA, US
Hometown:STREETSBORO, OH, US
Hometown:VINCENNES, IN, US
Hometown:WAIPAHU, HI, US