By Spc. Jason C. Adolphson (USAG-Yongsan)April 15, 2009
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - Many Soldiers try to be the best, but few can claim the title. A 65th Medical Brigage Soldier has earned that right.
Health Care Specialist Sgt. David Dasilma won the U.S. Army Medical Command "Best Warrior-NCO of the Year" competition at Fort Lewis, Wash. April 3. Dasilma now stands a one in 12 chance at becoming the Army Noncommissioned Officer of the Year in October.
Judges scored the troops on their knowledge and skills attained from the "Soldiers Manual of Common Tasks," an oral board, a written test, an essay, weapons qualification and physical training scores and a mystery event.
Dasilma said Soldier tasks and boards are second nature to him and he has a 300 PT score; however, the mystery event was a stump on his path at winning.
"There was a swimming event to save a casualty and I didn't know how to swim," Dasilma said. "All I could do was treat it like a real situation and revert back to the warrior ethos. You can't put one in front of the other, but 'I will never quit' and 'I will never leave a fallen comrade' were really on my mind as I managed my way through the event."
One category that set Dasilma apart from the others was "interacting with news and media."
"You had an Iraqi insurgent to take down right there on the lane and right after you detained them the press would come up to you," Dasilma said. "A lot of the other competitors forgot they were still in the task and started answering all kinds of question that would raise OPSEC issues. I realized that nobody said the training was over and afterwards I found out 'Yes, we were graded on that task.'"
Disalma quickly excelled from earning NCO of the Month in January to claiming victory in April for the annual Medical Command competition.
"Anybody can go to the 'NCO of the Month' board and that's the only way to work your way up to this level," he said. "Now I have a chance to be 'NCO of the Year' for the U.S. Army during the 'Year of the NCO.' That's huge."
"NCO of the Year" competitions are set to take place Sept. 26-Oct. 5 at Fort Lee, Va., and be announced in Washington D.C.