Noncommissioned officers from across Fort Drum participated in the 10th Mountain Division (LI) NCO of the Year competition, which concluded March 5.

Sgt. Eric Steinman, a military policeman with 511th Military Police Company, 91st MP Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, was named Division NCO of the Year.

He began his journey by winning the company, battalion and brigade boards, and then winning a Division NCO of the Quarter board last year.

Steinman, who joined the Army in February 2007, said he joined the military to challenge himself and do something with a cause.

A native of Lancaster, Pa., Steinman came to Fort Drum in early June 2007. He spends most of his time patrolling the streets of Fort Drum, helping to ensure that everyone obeys the rules of the road and stays safe. When he is not patrolling, he said he trains to stay proficient at his job.

"I deserved this achievement because I worked really hard to win ... and I always strive to do my best," he said.

"It's an honor winning, and I think it will help make me a better leader of my Soldiers and teach them that if they work hard they can accomplish great things," Steinman said.

"Winning gives me more confidence and ability to train Soldiers and teach them to follow in my footsteps," he added.

The competition, which lasted three days, consisted of an Army Physical Fitness Test, written land navigation and hands-on test, qualifying with individual weapons, common task training, nine line medevac, and a board on Army basic knowledge and leadership.

Steinman said the most difficult part of the competition was the board and the land navigation course, because of snow on the ground.

"I'm really proud of him, and after seeing his performance, I would have been shocked to not see him win," said Staff Sgt. Chris Kelleher, a military policeman with 511th MP Company. "It shows that he has a lot of heart and dedication to win this prestigious honor being Division NCO of the Year."

"Sgt. Steinman is a very competitive person who wants to win at everything he competes in, and (he) has a great ability to motivate Soldiers to better themselves and do the right thing," he added.

Kelleher said he helped Steinman study and allowed him more time to study and prepare.
"I've learned through experience Steinman studies best on his own, and I gave him a little bit of guidance and let him run with what he does best," he said.

"We have outstanding NCOs throughout this entire division and especially in 10th Sustainment Brigade (who) embody all the characteristic traits and leadership attributes to be recognized as the NCO of the Year," said Command Sgt. Maj. Allen G. Fritzsching, senior-enlisted adviser for the brigade.

"It takes an NCO who has the inner drive in them to want to be the very best and a chain of command to support that NCO," Fritzsching said.

"The NCO has to demonstrate a balance between technical and tactical competency, physical fitness, military bearing and a vast knowledge of military information. All of those things combined are ultimately where you end up with one NCO being selected as the 10th Mountain Division (LI) NCO of the year," he said.

Fritzsching said Steinman is an incredible NCO who embodies everything that represents the NCO Corps and lives his Army values every day.