By Kim Bell, CERDEC NVESDAugust 19, 2013
FORT BELVOIR, Va. -- A Noncommissioned Officer from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's communications-electronics center, or CERDEC, is representing the command in the Army Materiel Command's Best Warrior Competition, Aug. 19-22.
CERDEC Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate Staff Sgt. Joshua Menninger, section leader in the NVESD Countermine Division, edged out three other NCOs in the RDECOM NCO of the Year Competition, May 23, qualifying him to compete for the Best Warrior against NCOS across all of AMC.
Lt. Col. Scot Greig, CERDEC military deputy director (acting), nominated Menninger for the RDECOM NCO competition. "He was the first name that came to mind; he had just returned from Germany in a demanding observer controller capacity and is a natural athlete. I knew he would put up a strong running even with little preparation. That just how good our NCOs are and he's no exception," said Greig.
The RDECOM competition tested physical abilities, endurance and technical expertise, including day/night land navigation, medical evacuation drills, a seven-mile obstacle course, written tests and board interviews.
Menninger credits his performance in the obstacle course, while wearing full gear for nearly the entire course, with giving him the edge he needed; he completed it the fastest out of all competitors.
Menninger trained for the competition's physical endurance challenges and read and studied for its technical tests. "I do physical training twice a day; in the morning I run and I lift weights at the gym at night," said Menninger.
Menninger, originally from Tampa, Fla., has worked at CERDEC NVESD for approximately 16 months and enjoys providing the Soldier perspective for countermine technology being developed and testing new technology before it sees the field, he said. Aside from his work at NVESD and preparing for the AMC competition, Menninger keeps busy by pursuing a bachelor's degree in environmental sciences and being a father.
CERDEC is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers.
RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.