Paralegal Soldiers give their all for top honors
October 27, 2009
- Paralegal of the year competition
- Soldiers tested in first aid, physical training
Sgt. Ashley Carey, Culver City, Calif., paralegal non-commissioned officer, 3rd brigade 82nd Airborne Division, approached the victim with haste and began the process of dressing the victims abdominal wound. Simulated by spaghetti, the intestine lay scattered across the wound and the ground. This is one of the warrior training tasks competitors of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq Paralegal of the Year Competition completed on Oct. 16.
The competition encompassed five events testing the Soldiers abilities. The competition began with an early Army Physical Fitness Test. Contestants progressed to a written examination testing their knowledge as paralegal specialists followed by an M16/M4 weapons qualification.
The Soldiers went on to perform warrior training tasks. There were four stations making up the event: communications report in S.A.L.U.T.E. format (size, activity, location, unit/uniform, time and equipment), abdominal wound medical practice, disassembling and reassembling the M2, 50-caliber machine gun and map reading. The final event was the board testing participant's knowledge on basic Soldiering skills.
"It was tough," Sgt. Fabian Sanchez, Lubbock, Texas, paralegal non-commissioned officer, Multi-National Corps-Iraq, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, said. "It was my first board. I'm a reserve Soldier, and we don't participate in many boards on the reserve side. There was a lot of material to study and the questions came from many Soldier and paralegal references. It was good to see that I wasn't the only one who was nervous."
While some contestants just crossed their fingers to do well, others spent time studying in preparation.
"I studied first aid, map reading, how to put together the, 50 cal, how to search detainees; a lot of basic things," Sgt. Emily Perez, paralegal non-commissioned officer, Joint Interrogating Briefing Center, Camp Cropper, said. "I really didn't know what to expect. Just in case I even studied how to put on the whole M.O.P.P. (Military Operational Protective Posture) suit."
The contestants were not told how well they performed during each even, until the end of the competition.
"In order to keep competitors motivated they weren't told how well they did," Master Sgt. Claudio A. Mungaray, chief paralegal NCO, MNC-I, OSJA, said. "By not knowing they were still competing. They may have given up if they knew where they stood."
The day ended with a celebratory dinner announcing the Paralegal NCO of the Year, Carey, and the Paralegal Specialist of the Year, Spc. Dalani Harmon, 80th Ordinance Battalion.
"The day was a great success," Sanchez said. "We brought together paralegals from all over Iraq. For some it was a reunion and for others it was a chance to finally meet those people they had been talking to on the phone or through e-mail. This was a great opportunity to find the best of the best in junior paralegal NCOs and specialists."