January 20, 2002, 18:47 EST

Soldier and NCO of the year for 2002 selected

by Spec. Stephanie Willer
Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Staff

BLACKSTONE, Va. – Staff Sgt. Robert McIntre of 1st Battalion, 183 Infantry Regiment, was selected Virginia Army National Guard Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, and Spec. Shawn Patterson of Company B., 429th Maintenance Battalion was selected Virginia Army National Guard Soldier of the Year by a board held this weekend. Each winner received a 50$ U.S. Savings Bond and a Minuteman Statue.

According to Army regulations, each of the nominees must be selected for competition at the nominating Major Subordinate Command (i.e., State, Installation, Readiness Group, Regional Support Command, Division, Regional Training Brigade, and Direct Reporting Command). They also need to meet the following criteria: 100% drill attendance, qualified with their personal weapon in the last twelve (12) months, passed the APFT in the last twelve months, have no civilian or military convictions and must be MOS qualified or actively pursuing MOS training. In addition, each soldier's unit leadership is required to put together a packet for their soldier. This packet serves as a representation of the soldier's military career and is an integral part of the board's decision.

Board members explained that the idea behind the competition is to improve on the level of individual training for soldiers. The intent of the program is to instill a competitive spirit and to build confidence in the solider. Each of the units held competitions at the company level on up through the brigade level to reach the state competition. The Virginia Guard is in the 1st Army, which is considered the Eastern Region, the winner will go on to compete against soldiers in that region. If they win, they with then be eligible to compete at the Forces Command (FORCOM) level competition, where they will be competing against active army and reserve components. " We want to pick the best soldier and NCO of the Army," said Command Sgt. Major Robert Huffman, Virginia National Guard State Command Sergeant. He explained, "It's in incentive to say 'I' m the best soldier of the Army for the Year 2002."

The competitions evaluates a soldier's ability to perform Common Task Training, their knowledge of local government current affairs and their level of understanding of military acronyms and procedures. Soldiers are also evaluated on their appearance, achievements and education at military and civilian schools. In addition, NCOs are evaluated on their familiarity with troop leading procedures, administrative forms and their military support channels.

SOLDIER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATES 2002

NAME UNIT MACOM
SPC. Justin Gilley B429 MAINT 1st BDE
SPC Kyle Mack CO C, 229th ENG 29th ID (L)
SPC Mathew Gowin HHB/2-111th FA 29th ID (L)
SPC Kimberly Leitch 1710th TRANS 91st TROOP CMD
SPC Gregory Hamilton STARC STARC
SPC. Tab Reese 3-111TH ADA 29th DIVARTY

NON COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATES 2002

NAME UNIT MACOM
SGT Devin Hammond A/1-116 INF 1st BDE
SSG Edward Siebels A/229th ENG 29th ID (L)
SSG James Midkiff HHSB/1/246th FA 29th DIVARTY
SSG Robert McIntre 1/183 INF STARC
SGT John Burcher HHB/1-111th FA 54th FA BDE
SFC Kevin Jackameit VADPU 91st TROOP CMD
SSG Kristopher Butts A/276th ENG 28th ENG BDE

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