News: Task Force Bronco hosts Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Quarter competition
NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Soldiers and non-commissioned officers from across 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Task Force Bronco’s area of operations, gathered on Forward Operating Base Fenty Oct. 21 and 22 to show their prowess during the Soldier and NCO of the Quarter competition, hosted by TF Bronco.
Fourteen soldiers and NCOs competed, participating in events that ranged from an Army Physical Fitness Test, a 249 Squad automatic weapon firing range, various basic warrior skills lanes and a physically taxing “Mystery Event,” a three-mile run, with an obstacle, such as a tire flip or sled pull, after each mile, which was sprung on the soldiers at almost midnight of the first day of competition.
Each participant gave their best in each event, but every event offered each soldier a moment to shine at what they were best at.
“I think the PT test set the tone for the rest of the competition for me,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Tessa Smith, administrative personnel for Charlie Company, 325th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd BCT, 25th ID, and a Falfurrias, Texas, native who was the only female to participate and also achieved the highest PT score in the competition. “I was a little intimidated before the PT test, but after that, I gained confidence.”
The competition ended with a board, where soldiers and NCOs had to answer a series of questions posed by the TF Bronco command sergeant major and other senior NCOs from the task force.
After the board, soldiers gathered at the brigade Tactical Operations Center for the announcement of the winners. The Soldier of the Quarter was McGee and NCO of the Quarter was Cpl. Mark Roper, a Syracuse, N.Y., native assigned to 2nd Battalion, 25th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Cacti, 3rd BCT, 25th ID, TF Bronco.
“I will have to say my leaders did a good job training me for this,” said Roper. “They pushed me to become more physically fit, and our unit medics also helped to teach me some things to make sure I was prepared for this competition.”
The winners of this competition will go on to compete at the division level, pitting their soldier skills against other men and women across Regional Command East, Afghanistan.
“Even during a deployment in Afghanistan, these soldiers keep their edge of the bayonet sharp,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew Spano, Command Sgt. Maj. for 3rd BCT, 25th ID, TF Bronco and native of Northboro, Mass. “Watching these soldiers and NCOs come together, to compete, to show what they have; it is inspiring. I watched them go for over 24 hours, throughout the night and into the next day. This tells me that these soldiers have the strength, determination and drive to always excel.”