FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY (May 6, 2016) -- U.S. Army Recruiting Command announced the 2016 Soldiers and civilian employees of the year May 5 at the command headquarters on Fort Knox. The 2016 USAREC Soldiers of the Year are: -First Sgt. of the Year, 1st Sgt. Michael Kyle, 1st Brigade, Mid-Atlantic Battalion -Regular Army Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, Staff Sgt Kenneth Heimsoth, 5th Brigade, Kansas City Battalion -Army Reserve Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, Staff Sgt. Jesse Meyers, 3rd Brigade, Indianapolis Battalion -Center Leader of the Year, Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Frost, 2nd Brigade, Columbia BattalionFrost will represent USAREC at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Soldier of the Year competition later this year.The 2016 USAREC Civilian Employees of the Year are:-Outstanding Program Specialist Employee of the Year, Walt Quinn, HQ USAREC, G7/9 -Organizational Support Employee of the Year, Mellisa Cooper, Secretary, 2nd Brigade HQ -Program Support Employee of the Year, Jeffrey Walthers, HR Assistant, 3rd Brigade, Great Lakes Battalion -Outstanding Professional Employee of the Year, Kenneth Gornic, Attorney-Advisor, 1st Brigade HQ -Outstanding Supervisory Employee of the Year, Maribel Buchanan, Supervisor Logistics Management Specialist, Medical Recruiting Brigade HQsWhile the civilian employees were nominated and selected based on packets submitted by their supervisors, the Soldiers have been on Fort Knox for the last two weeks being evaluated on a multitude of warrior tasks as well as their performance in front of a board of sergeants major, led by USAREC's senior enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Stoneburg.The 23 Soldier-competitors came from across the command and represented each of the recruiting brigades as well as the Recruiting and Retention School. They completed a land navigation course, a 12-mile foot march, improvised explosive device identification, and assembly/disassembly and functions check of the M9, M4, M240B and M249. In addition to a variety of other physical warrior tasks, they also completed a 100-question written examination and a written essay about the Army Culture of Trust.The board selection was based on the whole-Soldier concept, including personal appearance, height, weight, physical fitness, communication skills, and recruiting and warrior task skills.Stoneburg said it's important the command take time each year to recognize its Soldiers."We want the Army to know the competence and capabilities of the NCOs assigned to this command -- both the DA select NCOs that will return to operational units [and] the center leaders and first sergeants who do not get a lot of exposure to units outside of USAREC," he said. "The commanding general, the deputy commanding generals and I are all extremely honored to host these great NCOs, and we truly appreciate all they do for us every day."As for the Soldiers' civilian employee counterparts, who support the recruiters in the field, their efforts have not gone unnoticed. Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow, USAREC commanding general, noted the importance of recognizing their efforts and accomplishments."Civilians play such a key role in our organization," Snow said. "These individuals are dedicated to their jobs and committed to our command. I whole-heartedly appreciate the work each of our civilians do every day."The command civilian employee of the year program recognizes outstanding USAREC civilians for their technical or leadership abilities, impact of job performance, community service, and special accomplishments throughout the year.