1st Med NCO/Soldier of the year

Story and Photos by Sgt. Angiene Myers
13th SC(E) Public Affairs Office

FORT HOOD, Texas — Soldiers and family members of the 1st Medical Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) joined together at the Phantom Warrior Center to announce the winner of the Noncommissioned Officer/Soldier of the year competition here Nov. 15.

The theme for the 1st Medical Brigade NCO/Soldier of the year ceremony was “A Fight to the Finish, symbolizing the rigorous competition these candidates went through competing for such a prestigious honor,” said master of ceremony Sgt. Michelle Meminger, patient administration NCO for the 1st Medical Brigade.

“The purpose of this competition was to first identify the NCO and Soldier of the 1st Medical Brigade and secondly provide training for our Soldiers because it’s all about training…it instills confidence and the Warrior Ethos in all the candidates who competed,” said Kevin B. Stuart, Command Sgt. Major of the 1st Medical Brigade.

The eight candidates competing for the honor of 1st Medical Brigade’s NCO/Soldier of the year included Sgt. Kevin Koonce, Sgt. Emily Warren, and Pfc. Stephanie Bloomer from 21st Combat Support Hospital; Sgt. Christopher Moore, Sgt. Mason Powers, Spc. Marquell Bennett, and Spc. Jessica Ruffin from 36th Medical Battalion; and Spc. Jose Rivera from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Medical Brigade.

Bloomer, of the 21st CSH, was the winner and will be representing the Soldiers of the 1st Medical Brigade in the next level of the competition.

As the 1st Med. Brigade Soldier of the year, Bloomer was excited about all the hard work and effort that she put into this competition and had advice for future candidates of the competition.

“If you’re going to attempt one of these competitions you definitely have to study for it. It’s not something you can just go into,” said Bloomer

Bloomer added, “I’m really happy that I won this. It took a lot of effort and a lot of people helped me. I’m glad I was able to win and show them that all the effort was worth it.”

She thanked her parent’s Stephen and Cheryl Bloomer, Koonce, Bravo Company and Warren for being her mentor.

The 1st Med Brigade NCO of the year was Bloomer’s mentor Warren, also of the 21st CSH.

Warren was honored to win the competition and thankful to everyone who helped put the competition together, allowing all the candidates the opportunity to compete.

“It’s a great opportunity and I encourage all Soldiers to go to the board. (Soldiers) should look to their leadership to help mentor and prepare them for the board,” said Warren

Warren thanked her parent’s Fred and Tammie Warren, her chain of command and everyone who helped her prepare for the board.

After announcing the winners of the competition, Col. Robert D. Tenhet thanked the area sponsors for their contribution to the event, Soldiers of the 1st Medical Brigade and all participating candidates in the competition.

“It’s a great Army day to recognize eight Soldiers for their hard work and efforts in competing for 1st Med. Brigade NCO/Soldier of the Year competition. Their dedication is clearly evident as they settled all together for this very grueling military training,” said Tenhet

Tenhet added, “Congratulation to all you great Americans who competed in this event. You personify what all the brigade Soldiers should be. The most polished diamond in the Silver Knights gang. Fortitude and Compassion.”

The 1st Medical Brigade NCO/Soldier of the year was a two day competition that tested the top four Noncommissioned Officers and Soldiers, representing various units within the Brigade to compete against each other to showcase their soldiering skills and be named 1st Medical Brigade NCO/Soldier of the Year. For winning at the brigade level, Bloomer and Warren will move on to represent the 21st CSH in the 13th SC(E) NCO/Soldier of the year competition.

The eight candidates are considered the best of their units and spent countless hours preparing for this competition. The events included in the competition were Army Physical Fitness Test, M16A2 qualification range, written essay on how the Warrior Ethos impact the Global War on Terrorism, 50 questions written test, mystery task, a Warrior Task and skill testing lane and an Oral Board.