RDECOM NCO of the Year wins AMC competition
July 20, 2012
- "I was really shocked that I won... We all knew it was going to be close."
- Whisman advances to Department of the Army NCO of the Year competition
- "We are very, very proud of our NCO, Staff Sgt. Markus Whisman. It's a grueling process. If you come out the winner, it is absolutely a feather in your cap."
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- A Soldier serving as a research and development adviser earned honors as Army Materiel Command Noncommissioned Officer of the Year July 18.
Staff Sgt. Markus Whisman now heads to the Department of the Army competition in October at Fort Lee, Va., after winning AMC's Best Warrior three-day contest at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.
"I was a sponsor for [Spc. Bernard Quackenbush] for the Department of the Army competition last year, so I have a pretty good idea what to train for," said Whisman, who is assigned to Army Research Laboratory at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. "I have quite a bit of work ahead of me, but I'll be ready.
"I was really shocked that I won. I couldn't believe it. They don't tell you how you do on any events. They grade you, and it's on to the next station. We all knew it was going to be close."
Whisman won the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command NCO of the Year five-day competition at APG March 30. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of AMC.
RDECOM Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie served as a panel member during the competition's board review.
"We are very, very proud of our NCO, Staff Sgt. Markus Whisman, who is the winner of the AMC competition," Beharie said. "I was one of the board members during the competition. I saw some of what the NCOs and Soldiers had to go through during the process.
"We did a rapid-fire questioning, which limits the amount of time you have to think about a question. You have to be very studied to answer those questions. Then you have all the physical competitive areas, [including] Army Physical Fitness Test and road march. It's a grueling process. If you come out the winner, it is absolutely a feather in your cap."
The Soldiers faced a series of tests to their physical fitness, endurance, technical aptitude and reasoning skills. The tasks included: Army Physical Fitness Test; obstacle course; evaluating and treating casualties; assembling 50-caliber and M240 Bravo weapons; setting up and maintaining an entry control point; identifying several types of explosives; M-16 weapons qualification; inspecting and employing M95 hand grenade; board review before sergeants major from across AMC; written essay and 150-question written exam; day and night urban orienteering; day and night land navigation at Black Hawk State Historic Site; six-mile ruck march; and inspection of Army Service Uniform.
Also vying for the AMC honors were Sgt. 1st Class Jay Denton, Army Sustainment Command; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Scheil, Army Contracting Command; and Sgt. Richard Gonzalez, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command.