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Minnesota National Guard
2007 Soldier and NCO of the Year Competition

Soldiers from across Minnesota competed in the Minnesota Army National Guard Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year competitions at Camp Ripley the second week of April 2007

The Soldier of the Year is Spc Nathan Delgado from 1/34th Brigade Troops Battalion The NCO of the Year is Sgt Matthew Sturos from 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor

The Soldier of the Year Runner-Up was Spc Megan Ehrreich from the Troop Support Unit The NCO of the Year Runner-Up was Staff Sgt Thaddeus Helmers from the 257th MP Company

Representing the Special Troops Battalion at the NCO competition was Sgt. 1st Class Glen Skrivseth Sgt Rodolfo Gomez represented 2nd Battalion, 211th General Support Aviation Battalion

Spc Jay Tschida represented the Special Troops Battalion in the Soldier competition Spc Joshua Claeys of the 1/189th Aviation Regiment, Spc Stonewall Keim of the 34th Military Police Company , and Spc Cassandra McCarney from the 682nd Engineer Battalion also competed

The ten junior-enlisted Soldiers and NCOs who competed in this year's competition had been selected through several processes and are considered to be among the best Soldiers in the Minnesota Army National Guard

"Your organizations have all selected you as the top Soldier to be here So I applaud you for that," said Sgt Maj Tony Padilla, 84th Troop Command operations sergeant major

The competition the Soldiers went through at Camp Ripley was comprised of several events They challenged their bodies with the Army Physical Fitness Test and their minds with Army Warrior Training tasks, which included land navigation both during the day and at night, radio communications, first-aid tasks and M-16 qualification The Soldiers also appeared before a board of three sergeants major and last years Soldier and NCO of the Year and had their knowledge challenged in several categories

"Everybody comes here with strengths and weaknesses Some will excel in PT, but this is a whole Soldier concept We look at the whole Soldier we don't look at just one or two parts," said Minnesota National Guard State Command Sgt Maj Maj Robert Boone "I hope, first and foremost, that the Soldiers gain an appreciation for the competition itself and what it represents Everything they do here is the same skills they need to be a ready, deployable Soldier"

The Soldier of the Year and NCO of the Year will go on to compete in the Region 4 competition at Ft Indiantown Gap, IN on 2-6 May, 2007 Region 4 is comprised of Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin From there, if they are successful they will advance to the National Guard Bureau level

By Staff Sgt Kenneth R Toole
15 April 2007

April 15, Soldier and NCO of the Year Competition photo gallery

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