Pfc. Elijah Nash, 526th Military Police Company, 40th MP Battalion (Detention), drags a dummy 100 meters in the Iron Griffin gauntlet course, which also included 100-meter iterations of a water jug carry, bear crawl and sprint, during the 15th MP Brigade NCO and Soldier of the Year competition March 25 outside the company operations facilities. Nash was named Soldier of the Year for the 40th MP Battalion and will go on to represent Fort Leavenworth in the Combined Arms Center competition. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp
Pfc. Elijah Nash, 526th Military Police Company, 40th MP Battalion (Detention), drags a dummy 100 meters in the Iron Griffin gauntlet course, which also included 100-meter iterations of a water jug carry, bear crawl and sprint, during the 15th MP Brigade NCO and Soldier of the Year competition March 25 outside the company operations facilities. Nash was named Soldier of the Year for the 40th MP Battalion and will go on to represent Fort Leavenworth in the Combined Arms Center competition. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp (Photo Credit: Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kansas (April 1, 2021) -- The 15th Military Police Brigade announced its top noncommissioned officers and soldiers March 26 following two days of competition.

Five soldiers and 12 NCOs competed in 10 different events March 24-25 including laying out the equipment for and completing the Army Combat Fitness Test; a 14-mile ruck march; various soldier tasks including land navigation, evacuating a casualty, radio communication and assembling weapons; a uniform knowledge check; an essay contest discussing the effects of counterproductive leadership; an urban orienteering event; a 1,000-meter swim; formal boards; and an Iron Griffin fitness challenge, which included pullups, bench press, deadlifts and the iron gauntlet — 100-meter water jug carry, 100-meter dummy carry, a 100-meter bear crawl and a 100-meter sprint.

Pfc. Jason Geise, 165th Military Police Company, 705th MP Battalion (Detention), performs 19 repetitions lifting 195 pounds in the Iron Griffin fitness challenge during the 15th MP Brigade NCO and Soldier of the Year competition March 25 in the company operations facility. Geise was named Soldier of the Year for the 705th MP Battalion and will go on to represent Fort Leavenworth in the Combined Arms Center competition. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp
Pfc. Jason Geise, 165th Military Police Company, 705th MP Battalion (Detention), performs 19 repetitions lifting 195 pounds in the Iron Griffin fitness challenge during the 15th MP Brigade NCO and Soldier of the Year competition March 25 in the company operations facility. Geise was named Soldier of the Year for the 705th MP Battalion and will go on to represent Fort Leavenworth in the Combined Arms Center competition. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp (Photo Credit: Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp) VIEW ORIGINAL

In the end, Pfc. Jason Geise, 165th MP Company, 705th MP Battalion (Detention), and Pfc. Elijah Nash, 526th MP Company, 40th MP Battalion (Detention), were named the brigade Soldiers of the Year; and Sgt. Alberto Alfaro, 165th MP Company, 705th MP Battalion, and Sgt. Gilberto Garcia, 256th MP Company, 40th MP Battalion, were named the brigade NCOs of the Year. Each received an Army Achievement Medal.

After completing the Iron Griffin gauntlet course, Sgt. Gilberto Garcia, 256th Military Police Company, 40th MP Battalion (Detention), offers advice about carrying the approximately 180-pound dummy to fellow competitors — Spc. Howard Post, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Joint Regional Correctional Facility; Pfc. Elijah Nash, 526th MP Company, 40th; Spc. Ryan Fisher, 291st MP Company, 40th; Sgt. Alberto Alfaro, 165th MP Company, 705th; and Sgt. Shayla Taylor, 165th MP Company, 705th — during the 15th MP Brigade's NCO and Soldier of the Year competition March 25 outside the battalions' company operations facilities. Garcia and Nash were named NCO and Soldier of the Year for the 40th MP Battalion, and Alfaro and Pfc. Jason Geise, 165th MP Company, were named NCO and Soldier of the Year for the 705th MP Battalion. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp
After completing the Iron Griffin gauntlet course, Sgt. Gilberto Garcia, 256th Military Police Company, 40th MP Battalion (Detention), offers advice about carrying the approximately 180-pound dummy to fellow competitors — Spc. Howard Post, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Joint Regional Correctional Facility; Pfc. Elijah Nash, 526th MP Company, 40th; Spc. Ryan Fisher, 291st MP Company, 40th; Sgt. Alberto Alfaro, 165th MP Company, 705th; and Sgt. Shayla Taylor, 165th MP Company, 705th — during the 15th MP Brigade's NCO and Soldier of the Year competition March 25 outside the battalions' company operations facilities. Garcia and Nash were named NCO and Soldier of the Year for the 40th MP Battalion, and Alfaro and Pfc. Jason Geise, 165th MP Company, were named NCO and Soldier of the Year for the 705th MP Battalion. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp (Photo Credit: Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp) VIEW ORIGINAL

The winners will go on to compete in the Combined Arms Center/Maneuver Support Center of Excellence competition at the end of April at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., to potentially advance to the Training and Doctrine Command level of competition and then the all-Army level.

Sgt. Gilberto Garcia, 256th Military Police Company, 40th MP Battalion (Detention), carries a dummy 100 meters in the Iron Griffin gauntlet course, which also included 100-meter iterations of a water jug carry, bear crawl and sprint, during the 15th MP Brigade NCO and Soldier of the Year competition March 25 outside the battalion's company operations facilities. Garcia was named NCO of the Year for the 40th MP Battalion and will go on to represent Fort Leavenworth in the Combined Arms Center competition. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp
Sgt. Gilberto Garcia, 256th Military Police Company, 40th MP Battalion (Detention), carries a dummy 100 meters in the Iron Griffin gauntlet course, which also included 100-meter iterations of a water jug carry, bear crawl and sprint, during the 15th MP Brigade NCO and Soldier of the Year competition March 25 outside the battalion's company operations facilities. Garcia was named NCO of the Year for the 40th MP Battalion and will go on to represent Fort Leavenworth in the Combined Arms Center competition. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp (Photo Credit: Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp) VIEW ORIGINAL

“We’ve been prepping these soldiers to maybe represent the entire United States Army, which would be a great compliment for our brigade,” said Sgt. Maj. Nathanial Reagin, 40th MP Battalion S3 sergeant major. “(This competition) gives these soldiers something to compete for and …see who really is the best of the best.”

Sgt. Alberto Alfaro, 165th Military Police Company, 705th MP Battalion (Detention), drags a dummy 100 meters in the Iron Griffin gauntlet course, which also included 100-meter iterations of a water jug carry, bear crawl and sprint, during the 15th MP Brigade NCO and Soldier of the Year competition March 25 outside the company operations facilities. Alfaro was named NCO of the Year for the 705th MP Battalion and will go on to represent Fort Leavenworth in the Combined Arms Center competition. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp
Sgt. Alberto Alfaro, 165th Military Police Company, 705th MP Battalion (Detention), drags a dummy 100 meters in the Iron Griffin gauntlet course, which also included 100-meter iterations of a water jug carry, bear crawl and sprint, during the 15th MP Brigade NCO and Soldier of the Year competition March 25 outside the company operations facilities. Alfaro was named NCO of the Year for the 705th MP Battalion and will go on to represent Fort Leavenworth in the Combined Arms Center competition. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp (Photo Credit: Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp) VIEW ORIGINAL

The winners had varying reasons why they wanted to compete.

“I really just wanted to improve myself and challenge myself because I feel like I can’t progress if there’s no adversity,” Geise said.

Pfc. Jason Geise, 165th Military Police Company, 705th MP Battalion (Detention), runs 100 meters carrying water jugs in the Iron Griffin gauntlet course, which also included 100-meter iterations of a dummy carry, bear crawl and sprint, during the 15th MP Brigade NCO and Soldier of the Year competition March 25 outside the company operations facilities. Geise was named Soldier of the Year for the 705th MP Battalion and will go on to represent Fort Leavenworth in the Combined Arms Center competition. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp
Pfc. Jason Geise, 165th Military Police Company, 705th MP Battalion (Detention), runs 100 meters carrying water jugs in the Iron Griffin gauntlet course, which also included 100-meter iterations of a dummy carry, bear crawl and sprint, during the 15th MP Brigade NCO and Soldier of the Year competition March 25 outside the company operations facilities. Geise was named Soldier of the Year for the 705th MP Battalion and will go on to represent Fort Leavenworth in the Combined Arms Center competition. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp (Photo Credit: Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp) VIEW ORIGINAL

Nash agreed with Geise.

“I just wanted to better myself and get my name out there and just become a better leader for the future and show my peers that there’s nothing that I can’t do,” Nash said.

Sgt. Gilberto Garcia, 256th Military Police Company, 40th MP Battalion (Detention), performs bench press repetitions in the Iron Griffin fitness challenge during the 15th MP Brigade NCO and Soldier of the Year competition March 25 in the company operations facility. Garcia was named NCO of the Year for the 40th MP Battalion and will go on to represent Fort Leavenworth in the Combined Arms Center competition. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp
Sgt. Gilberto Garcia, 256th Military Police Company, 40th MP Battalion (Detention), performs bench press repetitions in the Iron Griffin fitness challenge during the 15th MP Brigade NCO and Soldier of the Year competition March 25 in the company operations facility. Garcia was named NCO of the Year for the 40th MP Battalion and will go on to represent Fort Leavenworth in the Combined Arms Center competition. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp (Photo Credit: Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp) VIEW ORIGINAL

Alfaro and Garcia both said this honor was three years in the making, having both competed in the past.

“The environment challenges you, and something that my leadership has always taught me is to put yourself out there, and for personal growth, challenging yourself and putting yourself against the best of the best,” Alfaro said.

Pfc. Elijah Nash, 526th MP Company, 40th MP Battalion (Detention), assembles and performs function checks on an M4, M9 and M249 under the watch of grader Staff Sgt. Bobby Regan, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 40th Military Police Battalion (Detention) during the soldier tasks portion of the 15th MP Brigade NCO and Soldier of the Year competition March 24 in the company operations facility. Nash was named Soldier of the Year for the 40th MP Battalion and will go on to represent Fort Leavenworth in the Combined Arms Center competition. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp
Pfc. Elijah Nash, 526th MP Company, 40th MP Battalion (Detention), assembles and performs function checks on an M4, M9 and M249 under the watch of grader Staff Sgt. Bobby Regan, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 40th Military Police Battalion (Detention) during the soldier tasks portion of the 15th MP Brigade NCO and Soldier of the Year competition March 24 in the company operations facility. Nash was named Soldier of the Year for the 40th MP Battalion and will go on to represent Fort Leavenworth in the Combined Arms Center competition. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp (Photo Credit: Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp) VIEW ORIGINAL

Garcia said he’s been waiting for this moment.

“The biggest thing that really motivates me is I love doing things that are uncomfortable, painful and challenging. It’s the main thing that made me join the military,” Garcia said. “The mind doesn’t get tired, but you do feel pain. I’m not superhuman. I’m just an ordinary soldier trying to excel in his career.”

Competition participant 2nd Lt. Timothy Shively, 256th Military Police Company, 40th MP Battalion (Detention), drags a dummy for 100 meters in the Iron Griffin gauntlet course March 25 outside the company operations facilities. Shively and 1st Lt. Levi Gervasi, 291st MP Company, 40th, participated in the competition with the NCOs and soldiers, with Shively scoring as top officer. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp
Competition participant 2nd Lt. Timothy Shively, 256th Military Police Company, 40th MP Battalion (Detention), drags a dummy for 100 meters in the Iron Griffin gauntlet course March 25 outside the company operations facilities. Shively and 1st Lt. Levi Gervasi, 291st MP Company, 40th, participated in the competition with the NCOs and soldiers, with Shively scoring as top officer. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp (Photo Credit: Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp) VIEW ORIGINAL

Along with naming the soldiers and NCOs of the year, the brigade also recognized 2nd Lt. Timothy Shively, 256th MP Company, 40th MP Battalion, as the top-performing officer throughout the competition. He also received an Army Achievement Medal.

“It feels good. It was a hard competition,” Shively said. “I just like to compete, and I just wanted to show what I’ve got.”