Baghdad - Spc. Janet McMahon (left), of Sobus, N.Y., a lab technician with the 47th Forward Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, prepares to take blood for testing from Spc. Amanda San Nicolas, of Mesa, Ariz., Feb. 24. McMahon won her battalion-level Soldier of the Year competition and will continue on to the "Iron Brigade's" test of the best, Feb. 26-28

BAGHDAD - Spc. Janet McMahon, from Sobus, N.Y., a lab technician in Company C, 47th Forward Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, was recently selected as the 47th FSB Soldier of the Year and will soon compete in the "Iron Brigade's" Soldier of the Year competition.

McMahon said she studied long and hard to win her company-level competition prior to competing for FSB's Soldier of the Year.

After months of training, she stood in front of a board comprised of senior non-commissioned officers of the 47th FSB, answering a variety of questions focusing on Soldier skills to include: leadership, tactics, first aid, unit history, military justice, map orientation, physical training, battle focus training, and escalation of force.

"It took lots of studying to get to this level," said McMahon. "It's competitive and there is a lot to know."

McMahon has been in the Army for over five years and assigned to the "Iron Brigade" since July 2007. McMahon joined the military to see the world and has enjoyed being stationed in Europe. She plans on training as a therapist for cancer patients after her Army enlistment ends.

She is currently on her first deployment and despite being trained as a lab technician, McMahon has performed numerous other jobs since she first deployed with the 2nd BCT, 1st Armd. Div. to Iraq in April 2008.

"Since I've been here I've been the armorer, the commo (radio communications) representative, information management, a supply worker, mail room clerk; I even covered down on the orderly room," said McMahon. "Actually, lab tech is my smallest area here because we have another lab tech and he does the lab work while I pretty much do everything else needed."

Despite her hard work and determination, McMahon didn't expect to beat out three other Soldiers' and go this far in the Soldier of the Year. Her original intention for attending the Soldier of the Month boards was to practice for promotion boards.

If she wins the "Iron Brigade" Soldier of the Year competition, she'll continue on the 1st Armored Division Soldier of the Year in Wiesbaden, Germany and then the United States Army Europe competition in Heidelberg, Germany.

"I think it would be awesome if I won," said McMahon. "I can't wait to see just how far I can go."

The 2nd BCT, 1st Armd. Div. "Iron Brigade" Soldier of the Year competition begins at Camp Striker, Feb. 26 and runs through Feb. 28.

Page last updated Fri February 27th, 2009 at 10:28