Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Patterson and Spc. Randal Rhodes share congratulations after being named Redstone ArsenalAca,!a,,cs NCO and Soldier of the Year.

Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Patterson and Spc. Randal Rhodes are Redstone Arsenal's "best of the best" for 2009.

Patterson is the NCO of the Year and Rhodes the Soldier of the Year. They were announced as winners of their respective competitions June 15 during a luncheon at the Officers and Civilians Club. Each received more than $4,000 in merchandise and checks from various sponsors from throughout the Redstone and surrounding communities.

"You represent our NCOs and you represent our Soldiers well," Maj. Gen. Jim Myles, commander of the Aviation and Missile Command and Redstone Arsenal, said. "Congratulations to you."

Patterson, 41, from Foxfire Village, N.C., belongs to Bravo Company, 832nd Ordnance Battalion. He and his wife, Joy, have a son, James Albany, 24, of Richmond, Va., and a 2-year-old grandson. Patterson has been in the Army about 16 years.

"I think the best part of it was to have a little competition with some outstanding NCOs and Soldiers and learn something from them," Patterson said. "And (Bravo) Bulldogs lead the way."

Rhodes, 33, from Corpus Christi, Texas, belongs to Medical Department Activity. He is a laboratory technician at Fox Army Health Center. He and his wife, Tracy, have a daughter, Stephanie, 8. Rhodes has four years service.

"It's a great sense of accomplishment. It feels good to compete and win," Rhodes said. "It's a privilege to be here. I feel privileged more than anything else."

About 200 people attended the luncheon. Redstone's Command Sgt. Maj. Ricky Yates thanked the program's 50 local sponsors.

"Being at the FORSCOM (Army Forces Command) level, even at the 18th Airborne level, the support that's here is even more than the support at the FORSCOM level," Yates said. "I've actually had people from Fort Bragg (N.C.) ask me how they can get the same support that we have because they see what this community does for the NCO and Soldier of the Year."

The NCO/Soldier competitions are held every quarter of the year. Each quarter a winner is determined by competing with other Soldiers by taking a written exam, an Army Physical Fitness Test, an intense land navigation day course, Army warrior task test, and appearance before a formal board of senior leaders and noncommissioned officers asking questions on a variety of military subjects.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16