"Black Jack" Soldier wins commandant challenge
July 27, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas- With a straight face and professional look, Spc. Luis Rodriguez, an ammunition team chief with 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, walked across the stage to receive the Fort Hood Warrior Leader Course Commandant Challenge award, at Howze Theather, July 22.
In front of more than 400 Soldiers and spouses, Rodriguez was also awarded an Army Certificate of Achievement for winning the competition and a certificate for completing WLC.
The single day, peer selected challenge consisted of a 30 question exam, land navigation, physical fitness and hands-on weapons training, said 1st Sgt. Thurman Booth, B Company, Fort Hood Noncommissioned Officer Academy.
Before being selected for the competition, Rodriguez said he knew he wanted to win. He wanted to excel above his peers.
According to Rodriguez, the hardest part of the competition was not the challenge itself, but having to compete in the final event against an NCO and fellow Soldier from his unit.
The competition was not the first time Rodriguez has shown discipline and motivation.
He was put into three leadership positions, including squad leader and team leader, during WLC, he said.
His leadership at WLC is seen in his performed duties at his unit, as well.
"Spc. Rodriguez, he is a hard charging Soldier, a Soldier that leads by example, a Soldier that exemplifies the warrior ethos and a Soldier that always goes above and beyond what he is asked to do," said 1st Sgt. Jeffrey Minton, A Battery, 3rd Bn., 82nd FA Regt. Rodriguez also exemplified himself through physical training and winning the battalion NCO of the Month board, said Minton. He is being moved into the gunner's position within his unit.
The change of duty position is just the beginning. Rodriguez said he will be continuing his education, re-enlisting and staying at Fort Hood, if allowed.