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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”