By Frederick R. Poole, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine CommandAugust 6, 2012
Fort Eustis, Va. -- The winners of the 2012 U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year competition were announced Aug. 3 during a ceremony at the Fort Eustis Club.
Staff Sgt. Brenden Shannon was named the TRADOC NCO of the Year, and Spc. Jesse Jacklyn was named the TRADOC Soldier of the Year. Both Shannon and Jacklyn are from the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga.
The four-day competition tested the warriors' mettle in graded events that included land navigation, "warrior tasks" and battle drills, and a rapid-fire question-and-answer session before a board of four senior NCOs.
Shannon, the 2012 TRADOC NCO of the Year, spoke about his feelings after the announcement was made.
"I'm excited to win," he said. "There's been a higher level of competition every step of the way. I didn't know where I would place. It felt like it was anyone's game."
According to Shannon and Jacklyn, they trained together constantly for nearly a year, including weekends.
"Preparation is important," said Jacklyn. "You need to train in order to get yourself mentally and physically ready."
Gen. Robert W. Cone, TRADOC commanding general, shared his remarks, which focused on the importance of training.
"Training is a journey and not a destination," said Cone. "You will train your entire career. This is the culture of the United States Army."
One of Shannon's goals is to be selected as Drill Sergeant of the Cycle. In addition to being the 2012 TRADOC Soldier of the Year, Jacklyn was also named the 2012 Brigade Soldier of the Quarter.
Shannon and Jacklyn will represent TRADOC at the Army's Best Warrior competition this October at Fort Lee, Va. They will compete against 22 top NCOs and Soldiers from across the Army.
"We challenged these Soldiers," said Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey, TRADOC command sergeant major, "and they challenged themselves physically, mentally, and in some cases, even spiritually. I think we found the best Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier to represent TRADOC. ... We train Army professionals, and we are TRADOC."