4th MEB Soldier named division's Soldier of Year
June 5, 2014
Spc. Evan Brady, 94th Engineer Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, was named the 1st Infantry Division Soldier of the Year on May 22 during a ceremony at Fort Riley, Kan.
Brady, who was promoted to sergeant this month, was recognized at the ceremony by Maj. Gen. Paul Funk, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston, division senior noncommissioned officer.
The distinguished title was awarded to Brady following a five-day noncommissioned officer and Soldier of the Year competition, which began May 12 at Fort Riley. At the completion of the competition, Brady had to play the waiting game until the following week's ceremony where the winners were announced.
"I was excited and a little bit nervous standing in front of the 300 people in the theater," Brady said of the anticipation.
All doubt was soon erased as his name was announced as the "Big Red One" Soldier of the Year.
"I wasn't surprised, but I wasn't entirely sure," said Brady.
For being named the division's Soldier of the Year, Brady was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal, along with an impressive array of gifts.
The Kennett Square, Pa., native, with three years of Army service under his belt, serves as a track vehicle mechanic, but Brady proved just how versatile a Soldier he is at the 1st Inf. Div. competition.
Participants at Fort Riley competed in a variety of events that tested their physical and mental Soldier skills, including an eight-mile road march, stress shoot, night and day land navigation, urban orienteering, M4 qualification range, an Army Physical Fitness Test, obstacle course, written test, additional warrior tasks and a board appearance.
"By the time the week was over, I was just ready to sleep," said Brady. "It was much more physically challenging than I was expecting."
Just to reach the 1st Inf. Div. level of competition was an achievement in itself, as Brady started out topping the battalion Soldier of the Month board and worked his way up to reach the division competition.
Next up for Brady is a July trip to Fort Hood, Texas, where he'll compete at the III Corps level.
"My goal is just to represent the 94th Engineer Battalion and the 4th MEB the best I can," said Brady. "I think about it a lot, I know that I have to be 100 percent on my game for that."
Brady's trying not to look too far ahead, but did admit his long-range sights are on the FORSCOM board and then his ultimate goal of becoming the Army's Soldier of the Year.
Already hitting one of his career goals to become a noncommissioned officer in three years, Brady has just as lofty aspirations for his Army career as he does for Soldier of the Year competitions.
"I want to be the Command Sergeant Major of the Ordnance Corps," Brady said.
(Editor's note: Patton is assigned to 4th MEB Public Affairs.)