Germany-based Sustainers master battalion board
Sgt. Joseph Bannister, section leader and board sponsor, Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade, makes last minute uniform adjustments for Spc. Shairlonda Harden, HHC, 18th CSSB, before she enters the 18th CSSB Warrior Leader and Soldier of the Quarter board at Contingency Operating Site Marez-East, Iraq, April 9. Harden, and Sgt. Keelon Primus, 51st Transportation Co., 18th CSSB, won the battalion board and will represent the battalion at the 16th Sustainment Brigade's Warrior Leader and Soldier of the Quarter board at Contingency Operating Base Q-West, Iraq, April 22.

CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ-EAST, Iraq - For many Soldiers in the Army, it's a familiar drill: Knock loudly three times on the door, listen for "Enter!" and next thing you know, a command sergeant major and four first sergeants are staring you down.

The often-intimidating senior enlisted leaders watch a Soldier's every move and listen carefully to every answer that comes out of their mouth. The nervous Soldier recites the creed of the noncommissioned officer, the Soldier's Creed, and sings the Army Song, until finally directed to take a seat. This is just the beginning of the long, arduous process in any military "board," and ends after a Soldier answers rapid-fire questions on a wide range of Soldier's and leaders tasks.

For Sgt. Keelon Primus, 51st Transportation Co., based out of Mannheim, Germany, and Spc. Shairlonda Harden, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, based out of Grafenwoehr, Germany, both 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion Soldiers experienced these intense situations during the battalion's Warrior Leader and Soldier of the Quarter board here April 9.

"I was recommended to the board because of my drive and will to succeed," said Primus, a native of East Stroudsburg, Pa.

Primus's NCOs and Soldiers in his platoon supported and helped him succeed in his achievement, he said. They asked him general military questions throughout the day to help prepare him for the board.

Despite his busy schedule conducting convoy operations, Primus said he still continued to study and practiced breaking down weapon systems to prepare for the board.

"It's a challenge, because of the limited time you have between missions and down time, but it's a great accomplishment when you know your hard work pays off," he said.

General military knowledge and professional bearing are also evaluated during the board.

"They help you to really know where you stand as far as Soldier skills and military bearing," says Harden, who is in her first deployment to Iraq.

Primus and Harden both want to set a good example for their peers and continue to excel in their military careers. They represent the future leaders of the Army.

Primus and Harden were both selected to compete in the upcoming 16th Sustainment Brigade "Warrior and Warrior Leader of the Quarter" board, at Contingency Operating Base Q-west, Iraq. Both Soldiers said they are confident and well-prepared, and they are ready to represent their units and the 18th CSSB against the top Soldiers from six other battalions across northern Iraq at the brigade board.

Page last updated Tue April 28th, 2009 at 03:32