CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - Soldiers from the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and down-trace units: 62nd Chemical Company, 511th Engineer Dive Team, and 1108th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team, gathered here April 30 to compete for top honors in the Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year Boards.
The competition was held to select the most efficient and knowledgeable Soldier and NCO to represent the 53rd IBCT in the 1st Theater Support Command board held here May 10 through May 14. The competitors for Soldier of the Year were: Spc. James Odonoghue, 511th Engineer Dive Team; Pfc. Garrett Dixon, 62nd Chemical Company; Spc. David Alejandro, 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment; Spc. Joseph Mckeon, 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment; Spc. Timothy Stroud, 53rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion; Spc. Steven Gonyea, 2nd Battalion, 116th Field Artillery Regiment; Pfc. Matthew Leib, 1st Squadron, 153rd Cavalry Regiment; and, Spc. Kayla Martell, Detachment 1, Headquarters and Headquarters Company 53rd IBCT.
The NCO competitors were; Sgt. Richard Delgado, 62nd Chemical Company; Sgt. Ryan Osborne 2-116th FA; Sgt. Luis H. Cuevas III, 2-124th INF; Sgt. Melody Wright, 53rd BSTB; Sgt. Andrew Pliscofsky, 1-153 CAV; Sgt. Katie Bielecki, 53rd Brigade Support Battalion; and, Sgt. Julian E. Recinos, 1-124 INF.
Spc. James Odonoghue's knowledge, confidence and military bearing lead him to score the highest on the board amongst his peers; for that, he earned an Army Accommodation Medal.
Frontrunner Sgt. Delgado, from the 62nd Chemical Company, was the winner of the NCO of The Year Board. Sgt Delgado was born in Lima, Peru, and grew up in Venezuela. He joined the Army 2003, and since then he has competed in four NCO Boards prior to this year's board. He said he is looking forward to the 1st TSC NCO of the year board, and will try his best to win.
Congratulations to all of the Soldiers who competed in the event and good luck to Spc. Odonoghue, and Sgt. Delgado as they compete in the 1st TSC boards April 10 thru April 14.