4th MEB sweeps Soldier, NCO of Year competitions
Cpl. Avery Abbott and Spc. Clancey Henderson, both from the 4th MEB out of Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., were named the NCO and Soldier of the Year for the 1st Inf. Div.

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. - Two 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Soldiers traveled to Fort Riley and competed in the 1st Infantry Division NCO and Soldier of the Year, May 5-7. Corporal Avery Abbott, from 94th Signal Company, won NCO of the year and Spc. Clancey Henderson, from 193rd HHD, won Soldier of the year. The Soldiers found out in an award ceremony at Fort Riley on May 13 that they had received the honors.

Abbott beat out 10 other NCOs ranking up to Staff Sergeant and Henderson was against 10 soldiers ranking from Private to Specialist. The competition was a three day excursion where the competitors had to complete the following but not limited to: a PT test, a Board Appearance, Warrior Task Testing, Combat Life Saving Situations, Call for Fire, 9 Line Medevac, Land Navigation, and Qualifying with a M-4 Rifle.

"Everyone there did an outstanding job; I just managed to do a couple of points better," Abbott said. "I was a little intimidated by the higher ranking NCOs."

Abbott and Henderson prepared for this competition for months. They reviewed the manual of common tasks, practiced mock boards, and did a lot of PT. Abbott was helped especially by all the soldiers in the 94th Signal Company including 1st Sgt. Ramey and his 1st line supervisor Staff Sgt. Gould. Henderson was mentored by Sgt. First Class Clem and had help from his friends in his company.

Abbott thought the most challenging part about preparing for the competition was not knowing what tasks that he would be tested on, what the mystery event would be, or what the essay topic would be about. Henderson had troubles with balancing preparation with everything going on with work and life.

"It's worth it to enter the competition," Henderson said. "Prepare yourself and don't listen to anyone who says that boards aren't fun because they are a good experience, you learn a lot, and you get great prizes."

The Soldiers' hard work was paid off when their names were called at the award ceremony May 13. They were awarded with many great prizes including Kansas State Football Game Tickets for an upcoming game in September. The Soldiers will be participating in the coin toss as well as sitting at the 50 yard line.

Next up for the Soldiers are going back to Fort Riley to train up for the III Corps Board.

"I'm not nervous for the next board but anxious," Abbott said. "I'm ready to get started! Nighthawks fly high!"

Page last updated Thu May 28th, 2009 at 19:25