94th AAMDC names its SOY, NCO of the Year

| May 14, 2010 | 0 Comments

Staff Sgt. Christopher Roberts
94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public Affairs

Maldonado, Thorp claim top honors amongst Soldiers in Hawaii and Japan units

Staff Sgt. Justin Thorp, a Honolulu native, serves as an assistant operations sergeant, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, makes adjustments to his M4 during the marksmanship qualification, part of the 2010 94th AAMDC Warrior Challenge Competition, at Schofield Barracks, May 4. (Spc. Ashley Armstrong | 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public Affairs)FORT SHAFTER — The battle was close and the participants were unwavering; yet, only two noncommissioned officers emerged victorious at the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command’s Soldier and NCO of the Year competitions.

Soldiers from 94th AAMDC’s headquarters in both Hawaii and Japan competed in a Warrior Challenge Competition, May 3-5, here, and at Schofield Barracks.

“The Warrior Competition is a really significant event because this is an event that the Soldiers are competing in. They plan, look forward to it all year. A lot of time, energy, physical and mental preparation (have) gone into it,” said 1st Sgt. Oubrinyahn Stonewall, first sergeant, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 94th AAMDC. 

“Not only did those individual Soldiers put time and energy into it, but for the unit, as a result of the Warrior Competition, we are going to have Soldiers emerge as the best,” he continued. “We are also going to see a lot of strengths and capabilities in the other Soldiers competing against them, and celebrate the skill sets they have in the spirit of competition.” 

The Soldier of the Year winner was Spc. Roberto Maldonado, AN/TPY-2 sensor manager, Air Operations Center, Hickam Air Force Base. 

The NCO of the Year award went to Staff Sgt. Justin Thorp, an assistant operations sergeant, HHB, 94th AAMDC.

According to the winners, confidence and training were the key factors in the climb to be No. 1 in the competition.

“There were certain tasks I knew I needed to work on, like land navigation,” Maldonado said. “Although I was not proficient in my mind, I practiced and I was confident that I would still prevail. I was also surrounded by great NCOs who trained, prepared and gave me guidance prior to each event taking place.”

Sgt. Ryan Marchino (left), of Des Moines, Iowa, who serves as an early warning systems operator, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, consults with his sponsor while walking to his next task during the Warrior Challenge Competition, May 3. (Spc. Ashley Armstrong | 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public Affairs)Though standards are set a little higher for NCOs, fellow NCO support allowed Thorp to succeed.

“If it was not for my sponsor, who kept me trained and motivated throughout the competition, I would not have had as much success as I did,” said Thorp. “It also helped a great deal that we both approached each event with the right attitude and stayed focused on our goals during the competition.”

Due to the level of competition between candidates, identifying who could win early was not an easy task. In fact, the scores were so close and the competitors so evenly matched, that five of the seven NCOs and two of the Soldiers still had shots at the title going into the final event on Wednesday.

“It’s tough. If the competition was easy, I would have had a whole bunch of folks standing here getting awards,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip Rowland, 94th AAMDC, during the closing award ceremony. “Only the best of the best get to this point. Then, only the best of the best get to move on to the next point.” 

This year’s winners will move on to the next level of competition at the U.S. Army-Pacific Command level, June 7-12. 

The USARPAC competition is the final hurdle before the competition at the Department of the Army level. 

Maldonado, Thorp claim top honors amongst Soldiers in Hawaii and Japan unitsStaff Sgt. Christopher Roberts94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public AffairsFORT SHAFTER — The battle was close and the participants were unwavering; yet, only two noncommissioned officers emerged victorious at the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command’s Soldier and NCO of the Year competitions.Soldiers from 94th AAMDC’s headquarters in both Hawaii and Japan competed in a Warrior Challenge Competition, May 3-5, here, and at Schofield Barracks.“The Warrior Competition is a really significant event because this is an event that the Soldiers are competing in. They plan, look forward to it all year. A lot of time, energy, physical and mental preparation (have) gone into it,” said 1st Sgt. Oubrinyahn Stonewall, first sergeant, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 94th AAMDC. “Not only did those individual Soldiers put time and energy into it, but for the unit, as a result of the Warrior Competition, we are going to have Soldiers emerge as the best,” he continued. “We are also going to see a lot of strengths and capabilities in the other Soldiers competing against them, and celebrate the skill sets they have in the spirit of competition.” The Soldier of the Year winner was Spc. Roberto Maldonado, AN/TPY-2 sensor manager, Air Operations Center, Hickam Air Force Base. The NCO of the Year award went to Staff Sgt. Justin Thorp, an assistant operations sergeant, HHB, 94th AAMDC.According to the winners, confidence and training were the key factors in the climb to be No. 1 in the competition.“There were certain tasks I knew I needed to work on, like land navigation,” Maldonado said. “Although I was not proficient in my mind, I practiced and I was confident that I would still prevail. I was also surrounded by great NCOs who trained, prepared and gave me guidance prior to each event taking place.”Though standards are set a little higher for NCOs, fellow NCO support allowed Thorp to succeed.“If it was not for my sponsor, who kept me trained and motivated throughout the competition, I would not have had as much success as I did,” said Thorp. “It also helped a great deal that we both approached each event with the right attitude and stayed focused on our goals during the competition.”Due to the level of competition between candidates, identifying who could win early was not an easy task. In fact, the scores were so close and the competitors so evenly matched, that five of the seven NCOs and two of the Soldiers still had shots at the title going into the final event on Wednesday.“It’s tough. If the competition was easy, I would have had a whole bunch of folks standing here getting awards,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip Rowland, 94th AAMDC, during the closing award ceremony. “Only the best of the best get to this point. Then, only the best of the best get to move on to the next point.” This year’s winners will move on to the next level of competition at the U.S. Army-Pacific Command level, June 7-12. The USARPAC competition is the final hurdle before the competition at the Department of the Army level. 

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