'Top-notch NCO' misses mark in Accessions Command contest
June 9, 2011
FORT KNOX, Ky. " The scorching heat and intense physical training pushed Sgt. 1st Class Rick Selvester to his limits, but it was not enough to win him the title of Accessions Command NCO of the Year.
“I have no regrets,” said Selvester, who was named Cadet Command’s top NCO earlier this year. “It’s a huge weight off my shoulders because it takes so much to compete for something like this and be a family man and an ROTC instructor. This is a win-win for me. I was proud to come here, and I’m also happy to go home and be a family man.”
Selvester, a member of the Army ROTC program at Norwich University in Vermont, competed against three other NCOs this week at Fort Knox. The competition was won by Sgt. 1st Class Jacob Gilmer of U.S. Army Recruiting Command, who advances to the Training and Doctrine Command level.
“He went overboard on what he needed to do and he had the mentality that he would never quit no matter how tough the task and the mission he got,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Hershel Turner, command sergeant major of Cadet Command. “I believe in my heart that he was top-notch, he was right up there with the guy who won.”
Selvester faced off against the other competitors in several events that spanned four days, ranging from written tests to an obstacle course to land navigation. The most difficult for him was the road march.
“The road march normally I’m pretty strong at but I believe I was just completely unprepared for it climitization wise,” he said. “Everyone suffered minor heat injuries.
Because of the high heat " that topped out in the mid-90s " and humidity on that day, the eight-mile march was reduced to four.
The overall physical demand of the competition was challenging, he said. The heat played a big role for Selvester because he is from Vermont, a much milder climate state
“I felt like I was breathing soup but it was a great physical challenge,” he said.
The last day of competition was the most mentally challenging for competitors. They each had to sit in front of a board of senior noncommissioned officers and were asked questions on basic military knowledge.
“It was actually a fun board,” Selvester said. “I probably answered a few incorrectly, but I felt comfortable because I stopped being nervous about boards a long time ago.”
Turner said the board was one of the areas Selvester excelled in.
“He presented himself very well and articulated and communicated well,” he said. “He answered a lot of questions right the first time, and you could tell he studied hard and did a lot of research.
Looking back, Selvester said there is always something he could have changed to improve his performance but is satisfied with the outcome.
“I would have studied harder, worked out harder, pushed it harder this time or that time,” he said. “I did try my very hardest.”
Turner is proud of Selvester’s performance and his representation of Cadet Command.
“He represented Cadet Command to the best of his ability and gave us 120 percent,” he said. “He is a great NCO. I would take him anywhere, I would let him lead Soldiers anywhere in this world and I would have him at Cadet Command for the next 20 years if I could. He’s an awesome Cadet Command warrior.”