Far removed from her native roots in Trinidad-Tobago, an island in the West Indies, Master Sgt. Sandra Hypolite-Bernard earned the distinguished honor graduate title at the Noncommissioned Officer Senior Leaders Course at the Army Acquisition Center of Excellence in Huntsville, Ala.

Bernard serves as the NCO-in-charge of the 682nd Contingency Contracting Team, 916th Contingency Contracting Battalion, 410th Contracting Support Brigade at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Her daily contract administration duties are conducted at the 802nd Contracting Squadron, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

A 92Y unit supply specialist before she reclassified into the 51C acquisition, logistics and technology contracting NCO career field in October 2010, Bernard not only endured the physical demands and academic challenges of the six-week NCO resident course but she encouraged and facilitated after-hour study groups to help her fellow NCOs.

It was this display of leadership skills combined with her academic talents that earned Bernard the class top honors.

The senior NCO further demonstrated her capabilities during the train-the-trainer course where she shared her knowledge of the contracting process and provided major emphasis on instructional techniques.

After the NCO course, Bernard joined a class of field grade officers for the Army Acquisition Intermediate Contracting Course. There she achieved the highest academic score of 96.8 during the four-week graduate-level course. This course is designed to provide Army acquisition workforce officers and NCOs with Defense Acquisition University level 2 equivalency contracting training in intermediate contracting processes and methodology.