Yongsan NCO wins region title
Sergeant John Cushman of the United States Army Garrison-Yongsan Religious Retreat Center talks with a Korean Soldier about what motivates him to lead. Cushman has won the Installation Management Command-Korea Soldier board and hopes to win the All-Army Board this fall.

<strong>YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea</strong> - The Installation Management Command-Korea the best noncommissioned officer leads by example and trains Soldiers to take care of community members.

Sergeant John Cushman earned the right to be called "the best" by competing and winning against his peers at unit Soldier of the Month, Quarter and Year boards, and most recently at the region-level board. Next month, he will see if he can keep his winning streak going as he readies himself for the Military District of Washington board at Fort A.P. Hill, Va. July 19-24.

Cushman helps make U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan the Army's home in Seoul by serving as the facility manager at the Religious Retreat Center. He provides logistical support for the chaplains and staff, and in turn helps the entire community.

"I'm trying not to get too excited and put everything into perspective," Cushman said. "But yeah, honestly, I'm looking forward to competing and I will give it all I got."

Cushman joined the Army as a reservist in 1998 and served for eight years. He got out of the Army in early 2007 but reenlisted as a specialist in the summer of the same year.

"I felt like I was called to serve," he said.

Indeed, religion is a big part of Cushman's life. He is currently one year into his Master of Divinity studies at Liberty University through an online program.

Cushman was promoted to sergeant a year after he enlisted in July 2008. As a leader of Soldiers, he believes that training is the most important responsibility of a non-commissioned officer.

"Should there be a war, are my Soldiers going to survive it'" Cushman asked. "Of course nothing's guaranteed, but I want them to be as prepared as possible for whatever may come.

True to his word, Cushman has led by example and has mastered essential military tasks of a U.S. Soldier. But Cushman remains humble.

"I don't think what I've done is particularly special," he said. "Any one who is motivated and willing to put in time to meet the standards will be able to do this."

If Cushman advances at the Military District of Washington board, he will compete for the final All-Army Board this fall.

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Page last updated Mon June 22nd, 2009 at 03:45