HONOLULU, HI, UNITED STATES
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — While Army paralegals are known as Soldiers who assist in and outside military courtrooms, 19 U.S. Army Pacific paralegals had a different trial.
The top paralegal Soldiers throughout the Pacific region participated in the seventh annual USARPAC Paralegal Warrior Challenge, Sept. 15-19.
The Paralegal Warrior Challenge tested Soldiers’ mental and physical resilience as well as their military occupation specialty knowledge. The challenge was held at multiple locations across Schofield Barracks, Fort Shafter, and Aliamanu Military Reservation, Yongsan, Korea.
“The challenge is designed to test our paralegals that have shined throughout USARPAC and try to identify the best warrior paralegal in the command,” said Sgt. Maj. Craig Williams, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native, Command Paralegal for I Corps. “The Soldiers are learning a lot about themselves and some are finding that mental toughness that they didn’t know they possessed.”
The five-day warrior challenge began like most challenges and that’s with an Army Physical Fitness Test. After the APFT, the Soldiers had to conquer a swim challenge. The following day consisted of an M16 range where noncommissioned officers had to qualify on the M16 and M9. The Soldiers also had to complete a 4.2 miles foot march in 45 minutes. The USARPAC paralegals had multiple written exams to take and a board. To prove their Soldier abilities, they had to perform several warrior tasks and drills.
Although this challenge was geared toward finding the best to paralegal Soldier, some Soldiers mock the degree of readiness that legal Soldiers maintain.
“We get a little flack for not being infantry or we’re considered just paper-pushers, however, we all matter,” said Spc. Charles Rogers, a Fayetteville, N.C., native, assignment to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment. “Every MOS has a job to do. We might be paper-pushers or we could be paralegal rangers, don’t count us out just yet. One of us may surprise you. We all have a little piece to do on this huge working machine that is the Army.”
As the paralegal Soldiers went through the next few days testing their physical and mental skills, they went from competing against one another to encouraging one another.
“It’s not about winning here; it’s about giving 100 percent — giving your all, and participating. This challenge sparks growth and learning within Soldiers,” said Sgt. Maj. Cyrus Netter, Valdosta, Ga. native and Command Paralegal for USARPAC. “They have become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses. In the end, they have become better at it, not just the competition, but Soldiering — and more importantly; life.”
At the end of the five-day competition, all participants received certificates of achievements and coins of excellence. The overall competition winners received Army Commendation Medals and plaques.
For the Soldier that scored the highest on the APFT that Soldier would receive the Iron Soldier Award. This year Sgt. Chris DeFrancisco, assigned to 8th Army in South Korea, earned the Iron Soldier award for scoring 334 points on the extended scale.
DeFrancisco also won the overall competition and became USARPAC’s 2014 Paralegal Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. Spc. Glen Swanson, assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, was named USARPAC’s Paralegal Soldier of the Year.
The USARPAC paralegal Soldiers dismissed the claims of not being Soldiers and gave it their all during the warrior challenge. Netter said he was proud to see all of the participants living up to their motto, Soldiers first.
||HONOLULU, HI, US
||FAYETTEVILLE, NC, US
||FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, US
This work, USARPAC paralegal Soldiers committed to ‘warrior trials’, by SSG Kyle Richardson, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.