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    SMDC’s best face off for coveted titles


    Photo By Carrie Campbell | The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command names its 2024 Best Squad, June 6....... read more read more



    Story by Carrie Campbell 

    U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Seven of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s best Soldiers and noncommissioned officers faced off June 3-5 in the command’s 2024 Best Warrior Competition for the coveted titles of Soldier of the Year and NCO of the Year.

    The NCO of the Year, Sgt. 1st Class Monte Perkins, satellite communications systems operator-maintainer, 4th Space Control Company, 1st Space Battalion, 1st Space Brigade, Fort Carson, and the Soldier of the Year, Spc. Chase A. Betsinger, intelligence analyst, 18th Space Control Company, 1st Space Battalion, 1st Space Brigade, Fort Carson, were announced during a state of the command address at Peterson Space Force Base, June 6.

    This is Betsinger’s second consecutive year earning the title of USASMDC’s Soldier of the Year.

    “It's pretty great to win two years in a row,” Betsinger said. “Not many specialists are going to be sitting there with two Meritorious Service Medals.”

    Betsinger said it was much more difficult compressing the competition into three days from the five days from 2023 but that the Army Warrior Tasks and Battles Drills was his favorite event.

    “The hill was not my favorite part, but all the lanes were pretty fun, and they were decently ran,” Betsinger said. “But rucking is just not fun.”

    The competition was conducted at Fort Carson and Peterson Space Force Base and consisted of the Army Combat Fitness Test, day and night land navigation, Army Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills, 6-mile ruck march, water survival, 1-mile obstacle course, weapons qualification, written common Soldier knowledge examination and essay, and appearance in front of a board consisting of Command Sergeants Major and a First Sergeant from across the command.

    Perkins said his favorite event was the obstacle course.

    “Although it was one of the most difficult from a physical perspective, it was really fun to negotiate the obstacles,” Perkins said. “My least favorite is the ruck march. It's just an hour and some change sitting there inside of your own head, enduring the pain of moving with all that weight on your back.”

    Perkins said he did not actually make the choice to compete, but he is glad he did.

    “To be honest, it wasn't my choice, but I am glad that I was able to participate and had a great time during the competition,” Perkins said. “I'm certainly excited to win, and I hope it motivates my Soldiers to really put themselves out there and compete in the future.”

    The remaining squad members who will represent the command in the U.S. Army Forces Command Best Squad Competition at Fort Cavazos, Texas, in mid-August, are Sgt. Axyle Z. Belveal, information technology specialist, 100th Missile Defense Brigade, Colorado Springs; Sgt. Jankiel J. Bernadeau-Rojas, human resources specialist, 100th Missile Defense Brigade, Colorado Springs; and Sgt. Jonathan Flores, unit supply specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Space Battalion, 1st Space Brigade, Fort Carson.

    “Standards in the army are made for everybody to meet, so it's not that hard, right?” said Command Sgt. Maj. John Foley, command sergeant major, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. “But when we talk about excellence and winning, that's what we did this week. We really honed in on strengthening the Army profession, and that's what we did through the Best Warrior Competition.”

    Perkins and Betsinger received the Meritorious Service Medal, and Belveal, Bernadeau-Rojas and Flores received the Army Commendation Medal.

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    Date Taken: 06.06.2024
    Date Posted: 06.06.2024 20:31
    Story ID: 473298

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