FORT KNOX, Ky. (Dec. 14, 2010) - Seven Soldiers and noncommissioned officers from across the 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) competed for the NCO and Soldier of the Quarter title during a board here Dec. 14.

The board, comprised of several senior NCOs, tested the competitors on their military knowledge and basic Soldier skills.

The difference between first and second place came down to whether the Soldier or NCO had an excellent Army Physical Fitness Test score versus an average APFT score, or whether they qualified as an expert or sharpshooter on their assigned weapon, said Command Sgt. Maj. Willie Tennant, the 3d ESC's senior noncommissioned officer.

Sergeant Joshua Bryant, the command group driver for the Fort Lee, Va., based 49th Quartermaster Group, was named the 3d ESC's NCO of the Quarter for the first quarter of fiscal year 2011.

For Sgt. Bryant, a Radcliff, Ky., native with four years in the Army, the hardest part of the competition was answering experience-based questions.

"I don't have a lot of experience - years in the Army," Sgt. Bryant said. "It takes time; it takes experience."

In the end, motivation is the key to success, Sgt. Bryant said.

"People could give you everything, all the tools and resources to be successful," Sgt. Bryant explained. "But, it's the Soldier's self-motivation - that's what gets that Soldier or noncommissioned officer through the trenches."

Prior to the board, Sgt. Bryant prepared himself by studying, but his main focus was preparing his Soldier Spc. Justin Lawrence, also with the 49th Quartermaster Group's command group, for the very same board.

Specialist Lawrence won the Soldier portion of the competition, beating out two other Soldiers to become the 3d ESC's Soldier of the Quarter.

Specialist Lawrence, an Anchorage, Alaska, native, has been competing in boards since October, starting with the Soldier of the Month and promotion boards back at Fort Lee.

The hardest part of the competition for Spc. Lawrence was the mystery event, which was to reassemble an M16 rifle while blindfolded.

"It was a matter of overcoming your own frustration," Spc. Lawrence said.

For Spc. Lawrence, the key to success was preparation.

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Rob Strain, 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) public affairs. For queries, contact 3d Sustainment Command Public Affairs at: (502) 624-8601.
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