ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Eight "outstanding" candidates put their best boots forward while vying for the honor to be named Aberdeen Proving Ground Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year for the next 12 months during an April 26 selection board. At the end of the day, Sgt. 1st Class Kishann T. Smith was selected as the APG NCO of the Year while Spc. Adedeji A. Adeniji was named the APG Soldier of the Year. Smith is assigned to the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command's Army Evaluation Center while Adeniji serves with the 20th Support Command (CBRNE). During the next year, both will serve as APG ambassadors during various post and community events.

Selection Board president, Command Sgt. Maj. Alan Fritzsching of ATEC, said the competition was the closest he's seen.
"They represented the very best of NCOs and Soldiers on APG," he said. "This is just an indication of how highly professional and trained today's Soldiers are. All of them were sharp and the scores were extremely close. Any one of them could have won."

Board members included Command Sgts. Maj. James Ervin, APG Garrison; Command Sgt. Maj. Montonya Boozier, 22D Chemical Battalion (Tech Escort); Command Sgt. Maj. David Puig, 20th Spt. Cmd.; Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie, RDECOM; Command Sgt. Maj. Carlton Handy, AEC; and Sgt. Maj. William Griffith, USAPHC. The board recorder was HHC Garrison 1st Sgt. Paula Adams.

The candidates for NCO of the Year included Sgt. Myeshia Boston, 22D Chemical Battalion; Staff Sgt. Randolph Miguel, Kirk U.S. Army Healh Clinic; and Sgt. Joshua Boudreaux, USAPHC. Vying for Soldier of the Year were Spc. Casey Jackson, 22D Chem.; Spc. Ryan Baptiste, KUSAHC; and Spc. Eric Jimenez, USAPHC.

"I'm very happy," Adeniji said after his selection. "I owe it all to Sgt. 1st Class [George] Cummings. He helped me out a lot."

Cummings, who served as Adeniji's sponsor, called his Soldier "highly professional" and expressed confidence in his winning selection prior to his appearance before the board.

"He absorbs knowledge quickly. He asks questions and he understands responsibility. I expect him to win this board," Cummings said.

Smith's sponsor, AEC 1st Sgt. Linwood Parker, expressed similar confidence.

"He's a fantastic NCO and a very responsible leader who sets the example for all our Soldiers," he said. "He's very well prepared and I foresee him coming away a winner today."

Smith thanked Parker and his command for their support during his preparation, noting that he'd studied for hours a day during the past 45 days.

"I want to thank everyone who supported me and had confidence in me," he said. "It gave me confidence and I look forward to representing APG and ATEC over the next year."

Sgt. 1st Class Kishann T. Smith
APG NCO of the Year

Smith currently serves in the Fires Evaluation Directorate of the U.S. Army Evaluation Command's Army Evaluation Center. A native of Orange, N.J., Smith enlisted in the Army in 1991 after graduating from Vacaville High School in Vacaville, Calif. He attended Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Bliss, Texas where he was awarded the MOS of 14T, PATRIOT Crew Member and Maintainer. His previous assignments include Bitburg, Germany; Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Kuwait; Stuttgart, Germany; South Korea; Okinawa, Japan; and Qatar, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His military education includes the Senior Leaders Course; Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course; Primary Leadership Development Course; PATRIOT Master Gunner Course; Unit Movement Officers Course; NBC Defense Course; Hazardous Material Transporter Course and Master Drivers Course. He holds 32 hours toward a bachelor's degree in Management.

Smith's awards and citations include the Meritorious Service, Army Commendation, Joint Service Achievement, Army Achievement, Good Conduct and National Defense and Korean Defense Service medals; as well as the Armed Forces Expeditionary, Southwest Asia, Global War on Terrorism, Armed Forces Service, Kuwaiti Liberation and Military Outstanding Volunteer Service medals.
Smith's goals include obtaining the rank of First Sergeant and earning his bachelor's degree while stationed at APG. He is married with four children.

Spc. Adedeji A. Adeniji
APG Soldier of the Year

Adeniji was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He graduated from Ikoyi High School in Logos in 1988 and attended college at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Oyo State, Nigeria
Adeniji enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2010, completed Basic and AIT at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and was awarded the MOS 74D, Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Specialist.

He previously served at Fort Sill, Okla., before being assigned to APG as a CBRN Specialist with the 20th Support Command (CBRNE). Adeniji also is his command's Soldier of the Quarter, First Quarter, 2013.

His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation, Army Achievement and Army Good Conduct medals as well as the Army Service and Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development ribbons.

Adeniji's goals include earning Technical Escort Certification, becoming an NCO and competing for selection into the Sgt. Audie Murphy club. He also hopes to complete his master's degree in Information Systems Management.