Local DJ wins Soldier of the Year
February 20, 2013
VILSECK, Germany -- Seven and a half hours before Bavaria hears her on her 2 p.m. radio show, Spc. Monique Moore is already at work, doing PT with her unit.
After PT, she arrives at her desk at Armed Forces Network Bavaria in Vilseck to face a nonstop deluge of assignments, managing the station's social networking sites, working through radio spots and prepping for her show, before she goes live on air, where any mistake is heard by thousands of listeners already on their way home.
"I don't think people realize how much we do every day," said Moore.
Nevertheless, that work has paid off.
Moore was recently named Soldier of the Year for AFN-Europe, beating out Soldiers from the 17 other stations that riddle the continent.
What gave her the edge?
Moore has the highest PT score -- 296 -- of all female Soldiers in AFN-Europe. She got beat for highest overall score by one point.
She writes, narrates and edits 60 percent of the community highlights and news for the station, well beyond what is assigned. She doesn't balk at sharing knowledge with her unit and she volunteers for extra duties -- like interviews and camera-work -- that are outside her comfort level.
She runs an ongoing pet food drive for abandoned animals, hosts holiday dinners for single Soldiers and raises money so the unit can give every departing colleague a gift.
The Soldier of the Year award came as a surprise for Moore. Naturally self-deprecating, Moore joked that "there must not have been that much competition" for her to win.
However, Moore says she's fortunate for AFN to acknowledge her effort and work ethic.
"I feel like I've been recognized for what I do every day and for being a good Soldier," she said. "You know that you're appreciated. Everyone wants to be appreciated, be seen, know that their voice is heard. It gives you pride in what you do every day."
Moore's success at AFN Bavaria has come quickly. Before she PCSed to Vilseck in July 2012, she worked as a combat cameraman at Fort Bragg, N.C. Since USAG Grafenwoehr has few combat camera positions, Moore transitioned to broadcast journalism.
"I go from lying down in a mud puddle, taking pictures of a ruck march to talking about bake sales and the Father-Daughter dance. It's so much different serving your unit than serving the community," she said.
Moore, however, was never meant to be on the radio. She started at AFN behind the scenes, writing news and radio spots, the news blurbs and public service announcements on radio and TV.
When she would read her spots to test how the sound, Moore's sergeants noticed a budding radio talent and put her on air when the station got low on staff.
"When I got here I kind of hit the ground running," she said. "I'm still training and didn't go to school like everyone else did. My school is here. I didn't train to be a broadcast journalist; I'm becoming a broadcast journalist."
Last month, Moore passed her board, making her promotable to sergeant.
Winning Soldier of the Year gave Moore an extra oomph to her career and an edge at the board.
"I think it helped a lot," she said. "It also made me nervous because I had to bring it."
And bring it she did.
"She blew away the board," said Sgt. Carl Greenwell, AFN Bavaria. "I almost started crying. I was like 'Dang! You go! You go!'"