181st Soldier selected FORSCOM NCO of the Year runner up
October 9, 2013
FORT McCOY, Wis. -- A Soldier from the 181st Infantry Brigade, First Army Division West, has put Fort McCoy on the map throughout U.S. Army Forces Command.
Staff Sgt. Brett Oldenburger, an observer-controller/trainer with the 1st Battalion, 310th Infantry Regiment, distinguished himself among the elite when he placed second in the 2013 FORSCOM Noncommissioned Officer of the Year competition earlier this summer.
This fierce competition takes the top 16 NCOs across FORSCOM and has them compete in 10 mentally and physically demanding events, consisting of the Army physical fitness test with pull ups and rope climb, day and night land navigation, an obstacle course, two written essays, a written test, a combatives event, a combat life-savers lane, an 8-mile foot march, M4 qualification range, and a board appearance.
Events were conducted one after another over three days to provide a cumulative effect that increased stress and fatigue placed upon competitors. Additionally, competitors were not told which events they would be performing until the actual event started.
"You could only focus on the task at hand," Oldenburger said. "No looking forward because you don't know what's next, and no looking back because you can't dwell on what you could have done better or you will defeat yourself."
The path to the 2013 FORSCOM NCO of the Year competition was no easy feat. Oldenburger had to win at brigade, division, and First Army levels to compete in the FORSCOM competition. Only the best and brightest had the opportunity to reach such a high level.
"It was a really good experience," Oldenburger said. "There were a lot of good competitors. Despite the fierce competition there was still a sense of camaraderie and brotherhood. We still helped each other out in certain things, which demonstrates to me how strong the ties of our profession are."
Lt. Col. Anthony Campbell, 1-310th commander, was excited about Oldenburger's accomplishment.
"Staff Sergeant Oldenburger is an outstanding NCO, and the 1st, 310th Soldiers and command team are very proud of his accomplishments during the 2013 FORSCOM NCO of the Year competition," he said.
Oldenburger will serve as the alternate to represent FORSCOM in the Army Best Warrior Competition being held during October.
For his outstanding efforts, Oldenburger was inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club as an honorary member. The Audie Murphy club is a private Army organization for enlisted NCOs only, whose leadership achievements and performance merit special recognition.