Inspectors general compete for annual title

By Thomas RuyleMay 8, 2023

ARLINGTON, Va. — For three days, from March 28-30, 42 Army inspectors general gathered at the Pentagon to compete for the title of Inspector General of the Year.

The competition included a series of examinations on all aspects of the Army Inspector General System, including the four IG functions of Inspections, Assistance, Investigations, and Teaching and Training. They also completed a writing evaluation and a scenario-based IG exercise.

At the end of the second day, half of the participants were chosen to appear before a board the following day in the final competition for the title. Three boards of seasoned expert IGs evaluated the remaining contestants, one each for the Army civilian, officer and noncommissioned officer categories. The competitors were evaluated for their overall IG knowledge, bearing, professionalism and experience.

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Candice Funches, assigned to the U.S. Army Inspector general Agency, completes one of the examinations during the 2023 Inspector General of the Year competition at the Pentagon, March 29, 2023. More than 40 inspectors general from all three components of the Army participated in the competition. (U.S. Army photo by Thomas Ruyle)
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Candice Funches, assigned to the U.S. Army Inspector general Agency, completes one of the examinations during the 2023 Inspector General of the Year competition at the Pentagon, March 29, 2023. More than 40 inspectors general from all three components of the Army participated in the competition. (U.S. Army photo by Thomas Ruyle) (Photo Credit: Thomas Ruyle) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Ultimately, the opportunity for expert IGs to compete against each other showcased the IG mission of taking care of people and increasing readiness throughout the Army,” said Sgt. Maj. Larry Orvis, the Inspector General sergeant major. “Not only that, but the competitors had the chance to network, learn from each other and gain more experience.”

Winners of the 2023 Army Inspector General of the Year Competition are flanked by U.S. Army Col. Isaac Manigault, left, the acting deputy inspector general, and Sgt. Maj. Larry Orvis, the inspector general sergeant major, at the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia, March 30, 2023. From second left, the winners are: William Foster, Linda Nogle, Robert Faucher, Lt. Col Brett Jordan, and Sgt. 1st Class Dariana Baric. More than 40 inspectors general from all three components of the Army participated in the competition. (U.S. Army photo by Thomas Ruyle)
Winners of the 2023 Army Inspector General of the Year Competition are flanked by U.S. Army Col. Isaac Manigault, left, the acting deputy inspector general, and Sgt. Maj. Larry Orvis, the inspector general sergeant major, at the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia, March 30, 2023. From second left, the winners are: William Foster, Linda Nogle, Robert Faucher, Lt. Col Brett Jordan, and Sgt. 1st Class Dariana Baric. More than 40 inspectors general from all three components of the Army participated in the competition. (U.S. Army photo by Thomas Ruyle) (Photo Credit: Thomas Ruyle) VIEW ORIGINAL

The five winners and their respective categories were:

  • Dept. of the Army Civilian (GS-9/11) IG of the Year: William Foster, Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
  • Dept. of the Army Civilian (GS-12/13) IG of the Year: Linda Nogle, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland
  • Dept. of the Army Civilian (GS-14/15) IG of the Year: Robert Faucher, 8th Army, Camp Humphreys, South Korea
  • IG NCO of the Year: SFC Dariana Baric, U.S. Army Training Center, Fort Jackson, South Carolina
  • IG Officer of the Year: LTC Brett Jordan, 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Coraopolis, Pennsylvania

The winners will be formally recognized at the Worldwide Inspector General Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, on May 23.

Participants appreciated the opportunity to come to the Pentagon, not only for the competition, but also for networking and learning from each other.

“Although I did not win the competition, the opportunity to network and meet and discuss issues with other IGs is immeasurable. I look forward to the competition next year,” said Reginald Washington, an Army civilian inspector general with the New Jersey National Guard.

Maj. Keya M. Riggins, with U.S. Army Cyber Command, said, “l left with a greater arsenal of best practices as an IG and a greater list of professionals I can call friends.”

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Theodore Kaiser, assigned to the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, renders a salute as he appears before the commissioned officer board during the Inspector General of the Year Competition at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, March 30, 2023. More than 40 inspectors general from all three components of the Army participated in the competition. (U.S. Army photo by Thomas Ruyle)
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Theodore Kaiser, assigned to the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, renders a salute as he appears before the commissioned officer board during the Inspector General of the Year Competition at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, March 30, 2023. More than 40 inspectors general from all three components of the Army participated in the competition. (U.S. Army photo by Thomas Ruyle) (Photo Credit: Thomas Ruyle) VIEW ORIGINAL

Baric, the NCO IG of the Year, said, “I tried to stay motivated and to keep everyone around me motivated by telling them ‘We all are winners by making it this far!’ I will probably be remembered by saying ‘You motivate me’ to everyone I saw.”

Faucher, the Dept. of the Army civilian (GS-14/15) winner, said, “The competition was a great, challenging experience. I encourage all IGs to participate at least once in their career.”

Each winner earned an Army Commendation Medal or Civilian Service Commendation Medal. All other participants will receive the Army Achievement Medal or Civilian Service Commendation Medal.

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