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    'Warrior Diplomat' wins 2016 III Corps Soldier of the Year



    Story by Sgt. Jazmin Jenkins 

    85th Civil Affairs Brigade

    Spc Christopher Kenney, a combat medic assigned to the 83rd Civil Affairs Battalion, 85th Civil Affairs Brigade, is the first soldier in Civil Affairs to be named Fort Hood/III Corps Soldier of the year.
    Kenney had to compete and win at brigade level as well as the individual brigade level which was hosted by 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command. Each level of competition consists of physical fitness tests, written exams, marksmanship range, board interviews, land navigation and warrior tasks and battle drills.
    “It is a surreal feel,” said the Arlington, Massachusetts native. “I am the first to win at the Corps level from 85th [Civil Affairs], but I definitely will not be the last.”
    Kenney said he was nominated unexpectedly to compete in the 85th Civil Affairs Soldier of the Year Competition. Unlike the other competitors, he had to travel back and forth across the country multiple times, but he did not allow that to be an excuse to not perform at a high level.
    The 83rd Civil Affairs Battalion is located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Each level Kenney competed on was held at Fort Hood, Texas. He competed and won three competitions in a five week time period.
    “There was little to no time to prepare. But as a medic on a [Civil Affairs] team, I was already mentally prepared,” said the 25-year-old Kenney.
    A Civil Affairs medic is one of four members of a CA team. The qualifications to become a civil affairs medic are to complete the combat medic course and the Civil Affairs Medical Specialty (CAMS) course.
    “Being a CA medic is tough because you have to learn a lot in a little time,” said Kenney. “I have to be a subject matter expert in medicine as well as learn all the civil affairs stuff.”
    Kenney’s extensive medical background gave him an edge in the competition during care under fire exercises.
    “The medical lane consisted of basic first aid,” said Kenney “It is important but it was easy because it’s my expertise.”
    III Corps included a mystery event which was a 12-mile ruck march which had to be completed within three hours.
    “The 12-miler was my toughest feat. It was early, I was exhausted and it was the last day of the competition,” Kenney said.
    Kenney said he can remember telling himself before the ruck started, “It’s your duty to fulfill your obligation. You have been chosen to compete, so win.”
    Kenney was named the 2016 III Corps and Fort Hood Soldier of the Year after executing warrior tasks and battle drills with precision, maneuvering through obstacles courses and leaving sergeants majors in awe after board interviews.
    “I am really here,” Kenney said. “I represent the entire III Corps.”
    Spc. Kenney will compete in the 2016 Best Warrior Competition at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, Sept. 26 to Oct. 3, 2016.



    Date Taken: 07.19.2016
    Date Posted: 07.19.2016 15:14
    Story ID: 204399
    Location: FORT HOOD, TX, US 

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