CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – Two soldiers were recognized by Command Sergeant Major Edison Rebuck, senior enlisted leader, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, as the brigade Noncommissioned officer and Soldier of the Quarter, May 15, 2013.
Sgt. Michael Rodriguez, Company E, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, and Spc. Cale Buck, Company B, 1st Bn., 22nd Inf. Reg., won the board by demonstrating mental, tactical and technical excellence during a three-day gauntlet.
“At a Soldier of the Quarter board, we see the best a battalion, company and platoon has to offer,” Rebuck said. “It’s great to see the desire in these young Soldiers and NCOs to push themselves, to win and to be recognized as the best in the Raider Brigade.”
The competition began with a military board, with soldiers answering questions about military policy, programs and regulations, posed by Rebuck and each of the forward deployed battalion’s command sergeants major.
Buck, an infantryman, said the board posed the biggest challenge to him during the competition.
“I had a lot of help preparing from the NCOs in my platoon,” Buck said. “Studying for the board opened up my mind to a lot of aspects of the Army I didn’t know; things I can pass on to my Soldiers when I become an NCO myself.”
In addition to the board, the Soldiers competed for top scores during basic rifle marksmanship, the Army Physical Fitness Test, and a land navigation course.
Many of the competitors experienced the most trouble during Soldier tasks and drills lanes on the second day of competition, said Rodriguez, a computer/detection systems repairer.
During the lanes competitors demonstrated basic soldiering skills, from proper detainee search procedures, to identifying an enemy, and calling in artillery support.
“Some of these tasks take a lot of steps to complete,” Rodriguez said. “Performing just one of them wrong meant losing points from our overall scores. I read up on the skills I needed to focus on, and worked with soldiers who are experts in the more technical tasks.”
Rodriguez said he credits his leaders’ and teams’ faith in his abilities for his success.
“Everyone has doubts about themselves, but when somebody sees the potential in us, and pushes us to maximize that potential, it helps us realize what we are really capable of,” he said.
Rodriguez and Buck began training for the U.S. Army Central Command Soldier and NCO of the Quarter within days of finishing the brigade level competition.
Rebuck said he expects an outstanding performance from Rodriguez and Buck during the next level of competition, slated to begin May 20.
“Winning is great, and I want to see these soldiers represent the Raider brigade well, but I believe conducting the tasks to standard, exerting 100 percent effort in everything they do, is the indication of a true soldier,” Rebuck Said. “It isn’t about running through the events to win, but conducting their tasks to standard to the best of their abilities.”