By Melissa Bower, Fort Leavenworth LampJune 10, 2010
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (June 10, 2010) -A,A Soldiers from Fort Rucker, Ala., swept the Combined Arms Center Soldier of the Year and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year awards.
Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Beauchamp and Spc. Keely Misemer were named Soldier of the Year and NCO of the Year for CAC June 4. Beauchamp is an instructor at the Aviation Center of Excellence NCO Academy and Misemer an air traffic controller with C Company, 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment, 110th Aviation Brigade.
Soldiers from throughout CAC's centers and schools competed, each already having won his or her unit Soldier or NCO of the Year award.
CAC Command Sgt. Maj. Philip F. Johndrow thanked the Soldiers and commended them for their performance during a rigorous competition. Elements of the CAC Soldier and NCO of the Year competition included a physical fitness test, weapons proficiency, a written exam, land navigation, warrior task testing and a knowledge assessment board.
"I am so proud of these young men and women out here that went and took forth the challenge to be a competitor," he said.
Johndrow challenged each of the competitors to return next year or bring another Soldier.
"The winner is our Army and our nation, to mold young warriors like you to go back out to your formation and take what you've learned here out there," he said.
CAC and Fort Leavenworth Commander Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr. thanked each Soldier for serving the Army during a time of war. As a parent of a newly deployed Soldier, Caslen said he appreciated seeing some of the Army's best examples.
"You were handpicked by your organization, by your unit to come," he said. "It proves that number one ... you've got demonstrated leadership which you've already shown and that you have committed yourself to a degree or a standard above your peers - and it separates you from your peers."
Beauchamp said he was excited about the physical fitness portion of the test, for which he felt most prepared. The most challenging was the knowledge assessment board, he said.
"The good thing about these boards, is regardless of whether you win or lose, you always come out better," he said.
Misemer said the most difficult portion for her was the land navigation course because of the thick vegetation around Fort Leavenworth. Her favorite part about the competition was the social networking.
"The best part for me was when all of the competitors got together," she said. "I got to know so many great Soldiers, so many great people."
Misemer said her goal is to win the Training and Doctrine Command Soldier of the Year award.
Both Beauchamp and Misemer will advance to the TRADOC competition in July.