FORT STEWART, Ga. — The 3rd Infantry Division command team, Commander Maj. Gen Antonio Aguto and Senior Enlisted Leader Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Coffey, presented the winners of the division NCO and Soldier of the Year with awards during a ceremony May 14 on Fort Stewart.
“We are very proud of you and all that you have done,” Coffey said to the winners during the ceremony. “This speaks volumes to your character and who you are, your dedication, the trust your unit has in you and your willingness to go above and beyond to succeed.”
Sgt. Mary Cloninger, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd ID, took the title NCO of the year from where she was deployed at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, Poland.
Cloninger attended the event through a livestreaming conference call. She was presented the Army Commendation Medal by the 2ABCT command team, Commander Col. Scott O’Neal and Senior Enlisted Leader Command Sgt. Maj. Jabari Williams.
Cloninger’s parents were present during the ceremony and accepted a division coin and other gifts from the 3rd ID command team on her behalf.
“This competition has made me grow as a person and as a leader,” Cloninger said . “I am honored to represent the 3rd Infantry Division.”
The 3rd ID Soldier of the year was Spc. Fisher Wall, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd ID. Wall was presented an Army Commendation Medal by the 3rd ID command team at the ceremony.
“I would like to thank my leadership for getting me to this point,” Wall said. “There was a lot of effort to get me to this point.”
Wall and Cloninger were tested on their basic Soldiering tasks and drill during the competition.
They also had to tackle new challenges brought on by COVID-19. Such as having to participate in a virtually conducted board to overcome the distance challenges of having competitors all over the world as well as following Centers for Disease Control social distancing guidelines
The NCO and Soldier of the Year will go on to represent the division at the XVIII Airborne Corps best NCO and Soldier of the Year competition at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.