By Killeen Daily Herald contributed to this reportAugust 10, 2007
Spec. Jamiell Goforth, a combat medic with Headquarters Support Company, 404th Aviation Support Battalion, won the 2007 Forces Command Soldier of the Year competition at Fort Bragg, N.C, July 29-Aug. 3. She is the first female Soldier to win this title.
Goforth had won the Soldier of the Year competition for the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, to qualify for the FORSCOM competition. About 20 competitors from throughout FORSCOM took part in the five-day event.
The Soldiers battled torrential downpours during land navigation, and during the physical fitness test they suffered through the highest humidity levels that Fort Bragg has seen this summer. They also were tested in hand-to-hand combat, written exams, a 12-mile road march and an oral board. But Goforth said the most trying part of the competition for her was the rifle range.
"My unit doesn't have M4s, so that was a challenge for me," Goforth explained. "There is definitely a difference between the M16 and M4, but despite the challenge of never having used the M4 before, I moved forward through that area."
The M4 haunted competitors again during the "Mystery Task," which required them to assemble and perform functions checks on four weapons -- the M9 Pistol, the M4 Carbine, the 240-B Heavy Machine gun and the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon -- in four minutes.
"The mystery task is the one that's designed to throw them off balance, and that's just because it's so hard to do," said Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Carey, FORSCOM's top noncommissioned officer. "You have to be perfect, you can't miss a step, you can't miss a beat doing that task. If one little thing goes wrong, you won't succeed in the task. Assembling weapons sounds pretty easy, but when you have a time limit and four weapons to assemble it gets a lot harder.
"I went into the competition by going on my motto - 'do your personal best.' As long as that happens for me, I can feel good about what I do," Goforth said.
Goforth told the Killeen, Texas, Daily Herald that she became an Army medic three years ago to help people. She deployed in 2005 to support recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina, then served a tour in Iraq. She described her experiences as positive, and said she would like to train as a flight medic or a physician assistant.
"I love what I do, I love the Army and this is a high point for me and I am extremely proud," she said.
Goforth will represent FORSCOM in competition for the title of Army Soldier of the Year. That event will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 8 at Fort Lee, Va.