Beckley leader shows Soldier's heart during TRADOC NCO challenge
August 8, 2013
FORT LEE, Va. -- When faced with a challenge, Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy C. Barbaresi doesn't just meet it, he exceeds it. During the 2013 U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Noncommissioned Officer of the Year competition, he and his fellow competitors were given three hours to complete a 12-mile road march with a full-combat load. He completed that task in just two hours and 39 minutes, which works out to a little over 13 minutes per mile.
"It was an honor to be able to represent USAREC at the competition, especially since most of the skills they tested are outside our normal duty parameters," said Barbaresi, who serves as the commander of the Lynchburg, Va., recruiting center.
"My main goal was to show that being assigned to USAREC or being a [recruiter by MOS] doesn't mean we can or should forget about our basic Soldiering skills," he said.
During the three-day, hands-on testing event in June at Fort Lee, Va., Barbaresi was among 17 competitors from commands across TRADOC.
Along with the road march, competitors had to participate in a physical fitness test, zeroing and then qualifying with an M-4 rifle; land navigation, a media interview, a written exam, as well as having to perform numerous "warrior tasks and drills."
"My biggest concern going into the hands-on testing portion was the Warrior tasks because it has been almost a decade since I have performed or practiced any of those skills," Barbaresi said after the first part of the competition had concluded. "Luckily they all came back to me pretty quickly and I had an awesome sponsor who helped get me caught back up to speed in the days leading up to the competition."
Barbaresi was selected as the USAREC Fiscal Year 2012 Center Commander of the Year, which qualified him to compete for the TRADOC NCOY competition. He was selected for an assignment to the Recruiting Command in April 2005 and converted to the Recruiting NCO military occupational specialty 79R in 2007. He was previously assigned as an infantryman with C Co 3/75th Ranger Regiment and he is a graduate of the Army Airborne School, the Ranger Indoctrination Program, Ranger School, Army Recruiter Course, and the Army Recruiting Center Commander's Course. He is also a member of the TRADOC Sergeant Audie Murphy Club.
All of the tasks were evaluated line by line from the performance measures listed in the STPs (Soldier's Training Publications) and included: performing voice communications; operating a SINCGARS (single channel radio); issuing a Warning Order and SITREP (Situation Report); maintaining and performing a functions check on an M-4 series rifle, correcting any malfunctions, and zeroing and engaging targets with the M-4; evaluating a casualty, performing appropriate first aid for a variety of different types of casualties, and requesting a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC); protecting themselves from and reacting to a chemical and biological attack, decontaminating an individual and their equipment using a chemical decontamination kit, identifying chemical agents using a M-256-A1 detector kit, submitting a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) report, and supervising employment of CBRN markers; demonstrating basic and advanced map reading skills, using a map overlay; identifying possible indicators of and reacting to a possible IED (Improvised Explosive Device); reporting intelligence information; searching a vehicle at an installation access control point, and searching an individual; supervising preventive maintenance checks and services (PMCS); and interacting with news media representatives.
The final event of the three-day competition was the 12-mile road march. Barbaresi finished the 12-mile course carrying a 40-pound rucksack, dummy M-16 rifle and full battle kit.
"A timed, 12-mile road march is a physically-grueling event, but I think it is also a great indicator of someone's 'heart,'" he said. "Preparing for the 'ruck' over the past several weeks was a great reminder of that. Although I didn't finish quite as fast as I would have liked, now I have a new personal goal to work toward regardless of whether or not I continue on to the Army's Best Warrior Competition."
The TRADOC NCO of the Year competition wrapped up at the end of July with a selection board. The winners, Sgt. Curtis Bittner, from the Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Okla., and Staff Sgt. Benjamin Steele, from the Initial Military Training Center of Excellence at Fort Jackson, S.C., were announced by TRADOC Aug. 6. The winners will then go on to compete for the Army's Best Warrior Competition slated for October.