Hawaii Guard NCO, SOY candidates overcome pressure, rise to top

| May 14, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photos by
Spc. Barbara Liau
117th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Leaping over an obstacle at fullspeed, Spc. Daniel Crowley, a combat medic with the Hawaii Army National Guard, races against 15 other competitors during the National Guard Region VII Noncommissioned and Soldier of the Year competitions held April 30 to May 2, in Waimanalo. WAIMANALO — The state of Hawaii hosted the National Guard Region VII Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year Competition for the first time, April 30-May 2, as candidates competed with each other to see who the top warriors were.

In the end, Staff Sgt. Michael East, 95th Civil Support Team of the California Army National Guard, and Spc. Ryan Teter of the 5th Special Forces Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Colorado Army National Guard, took top honors. 

East and Teter will compete in the national “Best Warrior” competition in October in Washington.

The NCO/SOY competition, which took place at the 298th Regional Training Institute, here, challenges the physical, emotional and psychological capacity of Soldiers through vigorous and stressful situations, said Sgt. Maj. Kate Arizo, noncommissioned officer in charge of operations for the overall Region VII competition. 

Spanning three days, the competition tests participants’ abilities to perform under pressure and the state’s capability to hold a significant event.

The Hawaii Army National Guard called upon multiple commands to provide support and resources. Among those commands were the 103rd Troop Command, which organized the Army Warrior Tasks, at a military operations urban training at Schofield Barracks. 

“Planning (for this event) took months, and safety was on everyone’s minds,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Oshiba, command sergeant major for the 103rd Troop Command. “It took almost every unit in Troop Command and their resources to conduct just this one event.”

Spc. Phillip Cabedo, from the Guam National Guard, successfully employs a claymore mine during a simulated combat scenario at Schofield Barracks, during the National Guard Region VII Noncommissioned and Soldier of the Year competitions held April 30 to May 2. As part of a combat scenario, competitors were airlifted on two UH-60M Black Hawks to the MOUT site to perform security and stability operations. 

As the competitors moved through the site, they had to employ a claymore mine, search a detainee, transport a casualty, and call in a medical evacuation. 

Competitors performed all tasks while receiving and returning enemy fire.

“The objective was to give them a real-life scenario,” said Oshiba. “This event was good training for all Soldiers who participated, and I wanted it to be a win-win where everyone gets good training out of it.”

The entire competition consisted of the Army Physical Fitness Test, weapons qualification, a written exam, day and night land navigation, AWTs, an obstacle course with a 2-mile rucksack march, and an appearance before a board of four sergeants major from various states. 

The Region VII competition was professional and organized well, according to Sgt. 1st Class Reuben CdeBaca, the NCO competitor from the New Mexico Army National Guard. “It was an invaluable experience,” he said.

The Hawaii National Guard was thankful for the chance to host the event, said Arizo. The Hawaii Guard learned a great deal from planning and executing the regional competition, she added, and recommended that other states host the event if they have the opportunity. 

Category: News

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