SDDC NCO takes top honors at AMC competition
July 20, 2011
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. " Following five days of intense competition at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill. July 11-15, a Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command Soldier was named Army Materiel Command’s NCO of the Year.
Sgt. Douglas McBroom -- assigned to the 690th Rapid Port Opening Element, 597th Transportation Brigade, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. " captured a spot at the AMC competition after earning SDDC’s NCO of the Year title following the SDDC Best Warrior competition at JB Langley-Eustis in May.
A fellow RPOE Soldier, PFC Francisco Espino, was named SDDC’s Soldier of the Year and competed alongside McBroom during the recent AMC competition. Espino was named runner-up in the AMC Soldier of the Year category.
Both SDDC competitors agreed the AMC competition was mentally and physically demanding. They also agreed that the advice they were given following the SDDC Best Warrior competition helped them perform at a higher level during the AMC event.
That advice came in the form of a “call to action” from SDDC’s command sergeant major.
During the SDDC Best Warrior award ceremony in May, Command Sgt. Maj. James Riddick congratulated both competitors for winning their respective categories, but challenged them to “bring more effort” to the AMC Best Warrior competition.
“The Soldiers who win at the next level are the Soldiers who will sacrifice the most,” the sergeant major explained. “Enjoy your victory [this weekend], but [next week], it’s time to get back to work.”
Riddick said he expected McBroom and Espino to hone their skills prior to the AMC event; “Go to the weapons range more, study more, and do more physical training,” he said.
Half way through the AMC competition, McBroom and Espino said that advice was already paying big dividends.
“I don’t think I would have been able to [perform at this level] before the SDDC competition,” said McBroom. “The extra training has really paid off.”
“The key to this competition is motivation; pushing yourself to the limit,” added Espino, who admitted the “Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills” was the toughest area of competition for him. “You need to be physically fit, but it’s also about your mental fitness, your composure, and how you carry yourself. You have to maintain and move on.”
Both competitors also credited their success on the support they received from each other.
“Sergeant McBroom helped me out a lot,” said Espino. “Coming into this competition, I was blank. I appreciate Sergeant McBroom taking the time to help me out.”
McBroom said the assistance wasn’t “a one-way street.” He said Espino especially helped him do better during the AMC competition Review Board. “He taught me to be myself; don’t give ‘book answers,’ and don’t be a robot; just go in there, be yourself and say the first thing that comes to your mind. I think I did better during the board this time than I ever have in the past.”
The Soldiers further credited the 690th RPOE first sergeant " First Sgt. Jennifer Callicutt " and their sponsors -- Staff Sgt. Christopher Cook and Staff Sgt. William Breckenridge -- for providing them additional guidance, motivation and professional growth.
Although the added support helped McBroom and Espino perform exceptionally well at the AMC competition, keeping their “eyes on the prize” was further complicated as both Soldiers were struggling with significant personnel issues.
During the competition, Espino’s wife gave birth to their second child, a baby girl. And McBroom was noticeably worried as he described how his mother and grandmother were each battling cancer. His mother was diagnosed with the disease just as the AMC competition began.
Both Soldiers agreed that the additional personal stress was there, but they weren’t using it as a crutch; on the contrary, they were using it to motivate themselves.
“We want to make this [competition] count for something,” added Espino. “We’re not going to give up. Yeah, I missed my baby and [McBroom] is away from his family, but we’re here, and we’re going to make this count.”
McBroom " wearing a bracelet engraved with his mother’s and grandmother’s names -- agreed.
“Whenever I feel like I’m at my breaking point, I just look at my wrist and realize my mom’s going through a lot more than I’m going through right now,” he said. “I’m doing this for her. My mother told me not to cry for her. She told me to bust my butt and win this competition. And her strength in herself gave me strength.”
McBroom will now compete at the Department of the Army Best Warrior event Oct. 2-8. This is the fourth consecutive year a member of SDDC’s 597th Trans. Bde. has been recognized as one of the top two Warriors in AMC.
SDDC is the Army Service Component Command of the U.S. Transportation
Command and is a major subordinate command to Army Materiel Command. This relationship links USTRANSCOM's Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise and AMC's Materiel Enterprise. The command also partners with the commercial transportation industry as the coordinating link between DOD surface transportation requirements and the capability industry provides.