311th Signal Command finds solidarity in competition

| May 13, 2011 | 0 Comments
Sgt. Harold Stoker, Co. A, 307th Expeditionary Sig. Bn., 516th Sig. Bde, 311th Sig. Command, and the command’s NCO of the Year, helps a fellow Soldier over a wall during the week of the command’s Best of the Best Warrior Competition.

Sgt. Harold Stoker, Co. A, 307th Expeditionary Sig. Bn., 516th Sig. Bde, 311th Sig. Command, and the command’s NCO of the Year, helps a fellow Soldier over a wall during the week of the command’s Best of the Best Warrior Competition.

Story and Photos by
Staff Sgt. Crista Yazzie
311th Signal Command Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER — Opposing Soldiers in the 311th Signal Command’s annual Best of the Best Warrior Competition, helped one another become better Soldiers along the way to the title of 2011 Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

Seven competing Soldiers represented the command’s signal units throughout the Pacific during the competition, which was held at Schofield Barracks, and here, May 1-6.

The 2011 NCO of the Year winner was Sgt. Harold Stoker, Company A, 307th Expeditionary Sig. Battalion, 516th Sig. Brigade.

Spc. Kendric Coleman, 311th Sig. Command, prepares to navigate his way to specific points on a grid. Soldiers and NCOs from the 311th Sig. Command’s 2011 Best of the Best Warrior Competition engaged in the daytime urban orienteering segment during the weeklong event.

Spc. Kendric Coleman, 311th Sig. Command, prepares to navigate his way to specific points on a grid. Soldiers and NCOs from the 311th Sig. Command’s 2011 Best of the Best Warrior Competition engaged in the daytime urban orienteering segment during the weeklong event.

The 2011 Soldier of the Year was Spc. Brian Shepherd II, 78th Sig. Bn., 516th Sig. Bde., Camp Zama, Japan.

“It’s an outstanding honor and privilege to have been here and to have received this award for the 311th Sig. Command,” Stoker said. “Representing the 311th Sig. Command for future competitions brings a big challenge on me, since it’s a much bigger playing field, but I’m humbly confident that I will be able to succeed.”

Other participating Soldiers had similar sentiments.

“Everyone was pretty humble and had good character; we weren’t trying to take each other down, but instead we were all cheering on each other to do better,” said Sgt. Dave Wittig, 311th Sig. Command. “Experiencing that camaraderie was great. It was all about motivation to succeed, so this week felt more like we were doing team building, and that makes it even more of a healthy competition that builds character.”

To jump-start the competition, Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Thompson, senior enlisted leader, 311th Sig. Command, and other senior NCOs, hosted an icebreaker luncheon. Immediately following the luncheon, the competition kicked off with a written exam and essay.

Competitors charged through the week of consecutive events, including an Army physical fitness test, an M4 rifle range qualification and modern Army combatives.

Soldiers also overcame the challenges of both day and night urban orienteering; Army Warrior Task Testing, or AWTT; a mystery task at the Schofield Barracks Leadership Reaction Course, or LRC; and a formal board in front of a panel of sergeants major.

“(The competitors) got along so well that when we finished the (LRC) individually, we requested the leadership to allow us to go back through the course together as a team,” said Staff Sgt. Rebecca Brooks, who flew in from California to represent the 311th Theater Sig. Command, Support Unit-Pacific.

“Although it was a competition, the Soldiers were able to work with one another by providing knowledge they have in certain areas … to help their fellow battle buddies become better at things such as (AWTT), weapons qualification and other general military knowledge,” said Master Sgt. Martin Jenkins, NCO in charge of the event. “This was a big event that couldn’t have been accomplished without assistance from the first sergeants and other senior NCOs within our command, and assistance from units such as the 196th Infantry Bde. and the 18th Medical Command, who provided subject matter experts for the evaluation during the AWTT portion.”

The 311th Sig. Command winners will go on to compete in the Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Sig. Command (Army) competition in Fort Huachuca, Ariz., later this year.

Noncommissioned Officer of the Year

Sgt. Harold Stoker, Co. A, 307th Expeditionary Sig. Battalion, 516th Sig. Bde.

Soldier of the Year 

Spc. Brian Shepherd II, 78th Sig. Bn., 516th Sig. Bde.

 

 

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Category: News, Training

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