By Marny MalinMarch 13, 2009
Two Soldiers emerged as winners in the NCO and Soldier of the Quarter comA,ApetitionA,A their individual efA,AA,Aforts standing out in a field of nine competitors.
Sgt. Matthew Morlock, 911th Technical Rescue Engineer Company, took top honors in the NCO category. Sgt. Chelsey Billing, DeWitt Emergency Department NCO, won when she comA,AA,Apeted as a Soldier and has since been promoted.
Morlock joined the Ohio National Guard in October 2001, and deployed to Iraq for 11 months in 2004. ' I reA,AA,Aalized that I loved doing my job and I could see the posiA,AA,Ative effects that our mission had on people in need,' said Morlock.
Witnessing history as it unfolds, the opportunity to travel and gain life experiA,AA,Aences that are unmatched in the civilian world helped made it easy to decide to beA,AA,Acome an active duty Soldier in 2005. Morlock trained at Fort Lewis, Wash., deployA,AA,Aing again for a year in 2005 before being assigned to the 911th as a senior equipment operator/ technical rescue squad leader in 2007.
The Army has offered me the opportunity to learn new skills that I can apply to everyday life. It has turned me into a leader. I had no idea that I would be writing counseling, taking correspondence courses and going to college. It is conA,AA,Astantly learning and trainA,AA,Aing and adapting as much as the Army, t h a t is conA,AA,As t a n t ly changing,' said Morlock.
You have to be a very adaptable person, because everything can change at a moment's notice,' said Billing, when asked about the most challenging part of being a Soldier.
Billing, who hails from Montana, joined the Army after graduating from high school in 2003 and has been to Iraq twice.
Billing's first deployment was to Air Ramadi as a trauma team member for a year. She also served as a feA,AA,Amale searcher during the first Iraqi elections. The secA,AA,Aond time was in Southeastern Iraq for 15 months as a trauma team leader and patient hold NCOIC. While there, she also participated in medical missions to directly help the Iraqi people.
The Army has taken me around the world. It has changed me, made me betA,AA,Ater in my opinion. I am perA,AA,Asonally proud to be in the military, I know that I made the right decision for me,' said Billing.
Both thanked and cited the outstanding support of co- workers' help and family for support while training for the competition. ' Whenever I got frustrated, I would call them and they would get me back on track,' said Billing. Both Billing's grandfathers have military experience and she has an older brother serving.
Morlock thanked his wife, Tami, for the amazing support he received, ' She was amazing throughout all the boards, even sitting me down quizzing me, helping me to study. If I did not have the support at home, I would not have been able to focus for the tasks at hand,' said Morlock.
Installation Command Sgt. Maj. Allison Smith was impressed by the professionA,AA,Aalism of both Billing and Morlock. She addressed the winners and stated they now had a responsibility to ' Teach other Soldiers, both knowA,AA,Aingly and unknowingly; menA,AA,Ator them, guide them and lend the knowledge that you attained to other Soldiers in the Army, help them to achieve as well.'
Billing and Morlock have long term goals for their caA,AA,Areers in the Army. Billing to be promoted to staff serA,AA,Ageant, accepted into the Army Medical Department Nursing program and beA,AA,Acome a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Morlock wants to serve at least 20 years and achieve the rank of first sergeant and earn a bachelor's degree in fire science.
"The Army has offered me the opportunity to learn new skills that I can apply to everyday life. It has turned me into a leader."
Sgt. Matthew Morlock
"You have to be a very adaptable person, because everything can change at a moment's notice."
Sgt. Chelsey Billing