By Mrs. Donna Klapakis (SDDC)April 18, 2016
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii -- The winner of 599th Transportation Brigade's Noncommissioned Officer of the Year competition is a transporter who works in the headquarters' Command Operations Center here.
Sgt. Amado Punto, movement control NCO, was the brigade headquarters' nominee for NCO of the Year. He won against competitors from the 836th and 837th transportation battalions April 6.
Punto is not known as an NCO who brags about himself or touts his abilities.
"Sgt. Punto is a dependable, hard-working, yet quiet NCO. By that, I think he leads more by his actions than his words," Capt. Christopher Enyart, 599th Headquarters and Headquarters commander.
"Sgt. Punto doesn't really talk much. He's dedicated to the job, never complains, and always does what he's told. But he always looks for ways to improve his communications skills," said Maj. Ronald Burnside, 599th officer in charge of the Command Operations Center and current operations chief.
"I think that the story of his Sgt. Punto's entry into the NCO of the Year competition illustrates his dedication," said Command Sgt. Maj. William Funcheon, 599th senior enlisted advisor. "He did not know that he was the headquarters' nominee until two to three weeks prior to the event. Usually Soldiers know months out so they have time to prepare.
"Instead of complaining that he didn't have enough time or using that as an excuse, he devoted hours and hours of his off-duty time to studying with his family's assistance and support," Funcheon continued.
Sgt. 1st Class Mattie James is the NCOIC of the operations section.
"Winning the NCO of the Year for the brigade was just the beginning for Sgt. Punto," James said. "In that competition we looked at the competitors' weapons cards and (Army Physical Fitness Test) scores. We also had an essay, and we tested on drill and ceremony and military knowledge during a video teleconference board with the battalions.
"His next competition will be the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command Best Warrior at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, on May 3-4. He'll have nine events for that," James added.
Events in the SDDC Best Warrior Competition are the Army Physical Fitness Test, a written exam, an essay, board appearance, hands-on warrior tasks and battle drills, day and night land navigation, a 12-mile road march (with 40-pound ruck sack), obstacle course, and a mystery event.
Punto said the road march and obstacle course will be the most challenging events for him.
"We are practicing the ruck march three times a week now to work into it," he said.
James said all NCOs in the brigade are helping Punto prepare for the competition.
"Everyone is quizzing him, and we are doing extra physical training," said James. "I am even sending him texts with questions."
Punto did not enter the Army in a traditional manner.
"I think that his story is the most intriguing of all our Soldiers," said Enyart. "He doesn't come from an American background.
Punto is originally from Bataan, Republic of the Philippines, where he graduated from Lamao National High School. He went on to graduate from Don Bon Bosco Technical College in Mandaluyon, Metro Manila. Punto worked for Electronics Semiconductor in Japan for two years before moving to the U.S. in 2010.
"I am extremely proud of the passion and commitment he puts into this and all of his duties, and I wish him well in the next round of competition," Funcheon said.
"I feel so honored to be the 599th NCO of the Year and to represent the brigade at the SDDC Best Warrior Competition," said Punto.