FORT DRUM, NY – In a competition marked by challenges brought upon by COVID-19, one 10th Mountain Division (LI) Sustainment Brigade Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) emerged victorious.
Staff Sgt. Xingang Li, a Platoon Sergeant and Tactical Power Generation Specialist (91D) with the 514th Support Maintenance Company, 10th MDSB won the 10th Mountain Division NCO of the Year (NCOY) board for 2020. He was awarded with the Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM) for his outstanding performance for winning the board and was presented a plaque by Command Sgt. Maj. Roberto Munoz, the Fort Drum Garrison Command Sergeant Major.
“I was very excited when I won,” said Li. “I knew there were a lot of very competent Soldiers that I was competing against, so I was very proud.”
Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, each competitor had to submit a series of videos and essays to the board for consideration. The written essays were on the topics of how to increase retention rates on Fort Drum, NY, what “This is My Squad” meant to them, and a paper on personal reflection.
“Regarding retention, I recommended to give our 10th Mountain Soldiers more family time,” said Li. “I believe this will increase the Soldiers freedom to take care of their family while ultimately increasing the likelihood that they will re-enlist.”
Li also expressed his reasons for taking on a challenge like the NCOY Board.
“I wanted to show, through my actions, to motivate more Soldiers to stay in the U.S. Army and never give up,” said Li.
Li’s future goals are to pursue a Master’s Degree in Business and hopes to complete the U.S. Army’s Pathfinder, Master Fitness Trainer, and Rappel Master soon.
“To be the best, you have to be ready at all times,” said Li. “If you’re ready and an opportunity comes, you’ll succeed.”