JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command expanded their Adjutant Generals Corps Regimental Association G1 Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year Competition to include another of the Army’s largest commands, U.S. Army Forces Command, in the second ever event Sept. 20-22, 2022, at Fort Eustis, Va.
TRADOC and FORSCOM G1 (Personnel) sergeants major and noncommissioned officers joined forces to recognize some of the Army’s best human resource professionals.
The three-day competition consisted of nine comprehensive events designed to assess and evaluate the competitors’ critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills, as well as their overall physical readiness.
“Historically, the AG NCO and Soldier of the Year competition has only been on paper,” Sgt. Maj. Christian Carr, G-1/4 sergeant major, TRADOC. “Meaning the winning NCOs and Soldiers would be selected based only on what was shown in their records. We needed to change this to assess both leadership and technical attributes through an in-person competition.”
This change occurred for the first time last year, when TRADOC brought to life this new way of doing the AG competition.
“Leader development is my biggest passion, and our competition is a culminating event of that in its best and most challenging form,” Carr said. “I also wanted to ensure our most senior AG sergeants major observed the rigor these competitors endured, and they were able to provide the absolute best mentorship our AG professionals could possibly receive.”
During in processing, all competitors were given articles in which they had to write essays based on the assigned topics. NCOs specifically were given an article about one of Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston’s main efforts - eliminating dangerous behaviors among Soldiers.
The junior enlisted Soldiers were challenged to develop initiatives to improve recruiting and accessions efforts. Both essays were due before day three, with the intent of developing creative thinking and time management skills.
The competition officially began the next day with the physical readiness assessment, where participants competed for the top score on various training events, including four events from the ACFT; the three repetition maximum deadlift, hand release push-up, sprint-drag-carry, and plank. Additionally, the competitors completed a one-mile run.
Competitors were later tested on their knowledge of the Equal Opportunity program and the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program through a series of scenario events.
These events were created to evoke the competitors’ critical thinking skills and demonstrate their ability to successfully navigate real-life situations where EO and SHARP violations may have occurred.
The NCOs also completed a reception and integration counseling portion, which demonstrated how well they could identify and alleviate any issues a new Soldier may have during their transition.
The following day began with a competitor-led staff ride at historic Fort Monroe, where each Soldier and NCO gave a 10-minute brief on the history and relevance of their assigned historical location.
Competitors got into character as they presented their brief.
Staff Sgt. Monique Lambo, a human resources specialist, FORSCOM, participating in the event, dressed in a civil war nurse uniform to present her brief on the Fort Monroe General Hospital.
“What I have enjoyed most from this competition was the opportunity to challenge myself, network with other human resource specialists I have met throughout my career, and receive mentorship from the Adjutant General Sergeants Major,” she said.
The speed mentorship event, which was the newest addition to the competition this year, provided competitors the opportunity to speak one-on-one with the most senior AG sergeants major.
The discussion covered various leader development topics and identified areas of improvement within the AG Corps, both on a strategic and operational level.
“We are tapping into each other’s current and previous positions and experience to bridge the gap and share what we have learned,” Carr explained.
The competition ended with an official board event. Following the final board appearance, competitors gathered for an awards ceremony to announce the winners.
Cpl. Jaida Andrews, Cyber Center of Excellence, was selected as the TRADOC AG Soldier of the Year and Sgt. 1st Class Dacquarias Payne, headquarters TRADOC, was recognized as the TRADOC AG NCO of the Year. Spc. Isaa Alcala, 22d Signal Brigade, was selected as the FORSCOM AG Soldier of the Year and Staff Sgt. Kevis Jones, 101st Airborne Division, was selected as the FORSCOM AG NCO of the Year.
The winners will go on to compete at the AG School competition planned for the summer of 2023.
Sgt. Maj. Christopher Stevens, FORSCOM, G1, shared some words with the competitors at the end of the event.
“Investment is a function of commitment,” he said, “and you cannot lead people to where you are not willing to go.”