By Michelle Montieth, 597th Transportation BattalionSeptember 30, 2011
JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. -- A Corpus Christie native and young father of two is preparing for an Army competition to claim the title of "Best Warrior" Oct. 2-7 at Fort Lee, Va.
Six years ago, then-18-year-old Douglas McBroom made two decisions that would change his life forever: he joined the Army and got married on the same day.
"I saw an opportunity to support my family," said McBroom, now a sergeant. "I wanted to further my education and see the world -- all while defending my country."
Now, at 23, McBroom's career and family life are growing at light speed. With two daughters, ages 3 and 4, and one 15-month deployment on record, McBroom, an 88H cargo specialist with Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's, or SDDC's, 690th Rapid Port Opening Element, or RPOE,597th Transportation Brigade, plans to achieve the rank of staff sergeant and win the Noncommissioned Officer of the Year title during the Army-wide "Best Warrior" competition.
"Sergeant McBroom is fully qualified and more than capable of winning the DA Best Warrior competition," said 2nd Lt. Hunter Cantrell, 690th RPOE distribution officer in charge. "He is a dedicated and hard-working NCO who puts his all out on the line for every mission that he gets. He is the best junior NCO that we have in the 690th RPOE, and is destined for great things in the future."
McBroom currently holds three "Best Warrior" titles: the 597th Transportation Brigade; SDDC; and Army Materiel Command.
In the Department of Army "Best Warrior" competition, McBroom will be competing with NCOs and Soldiers from U.S. Army commands worldwide. These elite Soldiers will compete in physical and mental challenges, including warrior tasks and battle drills, fitness tests, board interviews, written exams, marksmanship and urban warfare simulations.
"I love my job," said McBroom. "It's about taking care of Soldiers and keeping them alive. The Transportation Corps moves supplies, troops and equipment. Without it, the infantry wouldn't receive their ammunition; the aid stations wouldn't receive their medical supplies; and the missions wouldn't have personnel."
McBroom began training for the 597th Trans. Bde. Best Warrior competition in January, and since winning that competition, continues to focus on marksmanship fundamentals, land navigation skills, board preparation and maintaining physical fitness.
"Each level of the competition has been more demanding than the last," said McBroom. "Although this journey has been long and strenuous, it has also been motivating and inspiring. With the support of my family, friends and unit, I have been able to push through the challenges and take it to the next level."
McBroom looks up to his mother as an example of determination, as she is currently battling breast cancer. In addition to obtaining the rank of sergeant major, McBroom plans to earn a master's degree in physical therapy, and organize a coast-to-coast run to benefit breast cancer research.
"Sergeant McBroom is motivated, tough, resilient and committed", said Maj. Armando Velasquez-Kuppinger, 690th RPOE commander. "He embodies the team-player Spirit -- whether at the football game, with his family, or on a mission. He's always the one pushing himself and his teammates to do better and accomplish the mission."
"I couldn't be prouder of our warriors in the 690th," said Velasquez-Kuppinger. "Our motto is 'Whatever It Takes.' We are all 110 percent behind our super warrior, Sergeant McBroom."