SSG Robert Donovan, IMCOM Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
SSG Robert Donovan, IMCOM Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, negotiates the obstacle course on Camp Bullis, Texas, during the IMCOM Best Warrior competition April 23. (U.S. Army photo by Neal Snyder, IMCOM)

SAN ANTONIO -- For SSG Robert Donovan, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year for the Installation Management Command, being a good Soldier is all about focus.

"I once read that the toughest distance on a road march is six inches … the six inches between your ears," he said. "If you want it bad enough, it's all in your head."

Donovan, a military police investigations supervisor from USAG-Kaiserslautern, competed last year during the IMCOM-Europe Best Warrior competition and pushed himself too far during a road march. Tired and disappointed, he was forced to call for backup.

"It takes a lot of courage to stand back up and say, 'Put me through that pain and torture again,'" said IMCOM CSM Earl Rice.

Through determination and hard work, Donovan successfully earned the title of 2012 IMCOM-Europe NCO of the Year and moved on to the command-level competition.

"It's a big thing in the Army to be a leader who can be resilient," said Donovan. "It shows Soldiers that, even though you might have a minor slip-up, you can come back the next year and fight that and overcome it."

For five grueling days in April, Donovan represented IMCOM-Europe during the Installation Management Command Best Warrior competition at Camp Bullis.

Through a variety of events -- including land navigation, combatives and road marches -- Donovan demonstrated his abilities while competing against three NCOs from other IMCOM regions.

"He pushed himself to try and work harder and better than he thought he could," said Rice. "In every way he exceeded the standard."

"You never know what you're capable of until you push yourself," agreed Donovan.

The newest IMCOM NCO of the Year, who has ambitions of one day becoming a command sergeant major, plans to use the knowledge gathered from this competition to improve the skills of Soldiers around him.

"I want to challenge myself, and I want to lead from the front," he said. "If leaders don't push themselves, the Soldiers won't either."

He will represent IMCOM at the Army's Best Warrior competition later this year.

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Contributions were made to this article by William Bradner, Keith Smith and Neal Snyder, U.S. Army Installation Management Command.

Page last updated Fri May 25th, 2012 at 00:00