FORT SILL, Okla., Aug. 20, 2020 -- Army Forces Command named Staff Sgt. Marcus Badillo, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 75th Field Artillery Brigade, its Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Aug. 7.The honor came less than eight years from when Badillo enlisted as a 13R Field Artillery Firefinder Radar Operator.He credited his determined effort and living to the ideals expressed in the NCO Creed and the Army Values for carrying him to the achievement.“I was emotional and honored that all my hard work and dedication paid off. The first thing I did was inform my family of the great news.  Then I called my chain of command that has been by my side and guided me through this process,” said Badillo, a TPQ-50 Weapons Locating Radar section chief.With the Army NCO and Soldier of the Year competitions waiting to be determined when and how they will be conducted, this accomplishment may be the crown of an already remarkable career. It has been that because of Badillo’s dedication, which began in the first couple years following graduation from advanced individual training here.The new 13R operator/maintainer processed hundreds of fire missions and about 200 hours of radar maintenance during his first deployment. He also played a key role improving the security posture of the post he served on in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Badillo was put in charge of 10 local nationals and two Soldiers to effect these improvements.He then moved on to become a senior radar operator on the TPQ-36 radar system where he led and supervised three Soldiers. Again he deployed, this time to Kabul, Afghanistan, where he served in a police liaison detachment. While there he trained seven Soldiers on a system that neutralized remote controlled improvised explosive devices. He also assisted with certifying 90 Afghanistan National Police trainees.Senior duties became a recurring role for the young NCO as he was given the responsibility to lead and train other Soldiers. Throughout he also developed and promoted safe operating procedures that resulted in nearly 200 Soldiers who completed their training unscathed by injuries.Badillo also progressed in his responsibilities, filling roles often meant for more experienced NCOs. Barely five years into the Army, he served as the senior field artillery targeting NCO, a position he said is the highest one can hold at the brigade level for his MOS. Among his duties, he advised the brigade commander on target acquisition assets.“As a noncommissioned officer, you are the backbone of the Army and you’re there to mentor Soldiers,” said Badillo. He added NCOs also provide officers information so they can do their jobs.“As NCOs, you have to be a subject matter expert at your craft,” he said. “You have to dig in the books and ask the hard questions to be effective, to be that proficient counterpart an officer needs.”Badillo admitted it made him nervous to brief officers, but he said each time he had the backing of his chain of command who believed in him and set him up for success.He cited nine Soldiers for mentoring him and preparing him to succeed regardless of the situation that confronted him. Those nine are: Chief Warrant Officers Nolan Laughlin and Roderick Marchessault; Sgts. Maj. Gregory Cayood and James Young; Master Sgt. Jason Gill; 1st Sgt. Thomas Hance Jr.; and Sgts. 1st Class David Quintanilla, Charles Griffin, and Tony Quach.As for the FORSCOM NCO of the Year board, Badillo’s success also came from within.“My drive and determination to constantly improve my Soldiers’ and my own professional growth is how I prepared for this board.  Managing between attaining distinguished honor graduate for 13R40 Senior Leader Course and competing in the III Corps and FORSCOM Best Warrior competitions was definitely a testament to time management,” he said.Being named the NCO of the Year for a command that consists of 750,000 Soldiers is a very significant milestone for a Soldier who enlisted for reasons comparable to many other Soldiers. He wanted to provide a better life for his daughter and complete his college education.“I have an amazing daughter who inspires me every day to be the best father, Soldier, and leader I possibly can be to accomplish the mission,” said Badillo, a native of Monroe, Michigan.He said his family’s support motivates him to advance in his career, and there are other milestones ahead he hopes to reach.“My goal is to one day obtain the rank of command sergeant major. I also hope to attend Ranger School and Airborne School so I can take what I learn back to my unit and train my Soldiers,” he said.In the meantime,  he’s preparing for the Army-level competition by conducting long road marches and working through high-intensity interval training for the Army Combat Fitness Test event. He’s also performing repetitions of small arms loading, unloading, and malfunction corrections at the brigade armory. The brigade is also providing him weekly mock boards.At the same time, Badillo is giving back to his unit and the Soldiers he leads.“By sitting down and spending time with my Soldiers explaining the ‘This is My Squad’ movement, we are able to move effectively as a  team to accomplish any mission,” he said. “This victory was not just for myself but for my Soldiers and leaders who have molded me into the leader I am today.”