U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Sholz, a noncommissioned officer in the Office of the Division Inspector General assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia, earned the title of Department of the Army Inspector General Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, which was announced April 20, 2022.
Throughout the Army, NCOs compete amongst themselves to determine who is the best in their particular field and this competition determined exactly that for Inspector General NCOs.
“We submitted three letters of recommendation and a memo for Sholz,” said Joel Smith, the deputy command IG for 3rd ID. “Sholz displayed all the qualities of an outstanding IG NCO.”
In the competition for Inspector General NCO of the year, nominees from across the Army competed in the Department of the Army-level competition in Washington, D.C.
“Sholz has constantly demonstrated the complete dedication and overall excellence needed as the IG NCO of the year,” Smith said.
After a challenging board competition, Sholz was named the winner. He had the honor of receiving his award at the Hall of Heroes inside the Pentagon.
“It’s a huge accomplishment for me,” said Sholz. “The IG of the year NCO title is the first time in my career that I have been acknowledged as the best of something across the entire Army enterprise.”
Winning this award is a long way from where Sholz began his Army career. Before joining the Army, he worked in retail making less than the minimum wage.
“I woke up one day realizing that I was tired of living from paycheck to paycheck,” said Sholz. “I felt the need for something bigger than myself and the Army was that for me.”
Soon after, Sholz joined the Army to be a cannon crewmember within the artillery field.
In this job, Sholz served a vital role helping his fellow Soldiers by providing timely and accurate fires that supported warfighters on the front lines. After years of hard work, Sholz was handpicked by leadership within the field artillery branch to become an inspector general NCO.
The Office of the Inspector General provides Soldiers with impartial and unbiased advice and with oversight through relevant and timely inspections, investigations and training to promote stewardship, accountability, integrity, efficiency, good order & discipline to enhance total Army readiness.
These Soldiers serve in a position of trust, bound by the Army regulations and the information gathered is confidential. Confidentiality allows Soldiers and leaders to feel comfortable in contacting the Office of the Inspector General without risk of judgment or reprisal.
Since beginning this new career path, Sholz has handled cases relating to injuries, death, sexual harassment complaints and other forms of misconduct.
“I love my job because it is one of the most impactful roles I’ve had in the Army,” Sholz said. “I have the ability to change someone's life for the better.”
During his time in the military, Sholz was also able to acquire a bachelor's degree in homeland security, an associate degree in counterterrorism and is currently working on his master’s degree in business administration. As a husband and a father, Sholz has always kept his family close to help with the daily stresses he faces.
“My wife has always done an amazing job of taking care of things at home so I can focus on what I'm doing at work,” Sholz said. “They have definitely been a driving factor in who I am as an NCO and a leader.”
Sholz is scheduled to move to Oklahoma where he hopes to serve as a first sergeant. After his time in the Army ends, he plans to work as an IG Department of the Army civilian, where the experience he has gained as Inspector General NCO of the year will likely be invaluable.
“He’s a dedicated Soldier, a quality individual, great husband and father,” said Smith. “I’m sure when and wherever he goes, he will do an outstanding job for the United States Army.”