FORT IRWIN, Calif. – Cpl. Larry Lowe, Jr. grew up in a military family watching his parents, aunts, and uncles progress throughout their military careers.
After joining the Army in 2015 as a dental specialist, Lowe, now the Fort Irwin Dental Clinic 1 noncommissioned officer in charge, became a part of that military legacy within his family.
Much like his mother who competed in military competitions during her career, Lowe participated in and won the Regional Dental Command-Central’s NCO of the Year competition March 25-29 at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.
During the competition, Lowe, a Stafford, Va. native, and other competitors participated in multiple events over several days including a ruck march, day and night land navigation, an obstacle course, the Army Combat Fitness Test, and an Army knowledge board.
Sgt. 1st Class Fisamuel Reggans, the senior enlisted leader for Fort Irwin Dental Clinic Command, sent Lowe to the RDC-C competition after Lowe won a board here.
Reggans also served as part of the cadre for the competition.
“I really felt like a proud parent,” Reggans said. “It’s like studying for a test and it’s time to perform and I was able to just sit back and watch.”
Having Reggans there served as an added layer of motivation for Lowe, he said.
“I’m representing not only Fort Irwin, but Fort Carson as well, and I know I had to go out there and do my best,” Lowe said.
For Lowe, the competition reminded him to never give up and taught him how much he could endure.
Without realizing it, Lowe went through the majority of the competition with a stress fracture and a kidney stone, he said.
“I was just thinking it was pain and being sore just like any other thing,” he said. “I just pushed myself through it; I didn’t want to quit or live with any regrets.”
While Lowe said he would not recommend others push themselves through medical issues, knowing he unwittingly faced those challenges and still won proved his determination and strength.
Winning in front of Reggans, other former leaders and especially his aunt, who is stationed at Joint Base San Antonio, meant a lot to Lowe.
“I was glad to see [my aunt] there to actually see me making such a big accomplishment,” he said.
Lowe said he also knew his win would mean a lot to his mother, whom he said is his biggest role model.
“I’m pretty sure she sees me walking in her footsteps and she’s proud,” Lowe said.
Lowe’s accomplishment speaks volumes not only about him, but also DENTAC as whole, according to Reggans.
“For the DENTAC, it gives that much needed sight and visibility to our senior leaders and sends a loud message that Fort Irwin is out training and maintaining the much-needed readiness mission,” Reggans said.