ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (April 21, 2014) -- Four Soldiers are testing their physical fitness, endurance, technical aptitude and reasoning skills April 21 to 24 as they vie for Noncommissioned Officer of the Year honors in the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.

On a sunny and brisk morning, one sergeant first class, two staff sergeants and one sergeant kicked off the four-day competition with the Army Physical Fitness Test.

Eleven Soldiers, led by Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Agueda, gathered as the four participants continued the competition with zeroing an M4 rifle and reflexive fire at a small-arms range.

The competition includes tasks that test the Soldiers' physical and mental abilities: day and night land-navigation courses at APG's Lauderick Creek Training Site, warrior task and battle drills lane testing, urban orienteering at APG, an obstacle course and five-mile march at Gunpowder Military Reservation, essay, written exam, and board appearance before RDECOM's sergeants major.

RDECOM Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie will preside over an awards ceremony April 24. The winner will advance to the Army Materiel Command NCO of the Year Competition.

Vying for the awards are:

-- Sgt. 1st Class Michelle Williams, an electronics maintenance chief assigned to the Army Research Laboratory at Adelphi, Md. She is from Lexington, S.C., and has 13 years of service.

-- Staff Sgt. David Carter, a military intelligence systems maintainer/integrator assigned to the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center's Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate at APG. He is from Gustine, Calif., and has six years of service.

-- Staff Sgt. Joshua Menninger, a counter-mine section leader assigned to CERDEC's Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate at Fort Belvoir, Va. He is from Tampa, Fla., and has seven years of service.

-- Sgt. Christopher Helms, an Infantryman assigned to the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center at Natick, Mass. He is from Portland, Maine, and has four years of service.


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 delivers it.