Photo by Sgt. Kelly Collett
Sgt. First Class Steven Watson
the three to five-second rush under
Utah – Sixteen Utah National Guard members competed Mar.
30-31 for the titles of Soldier of the Year, Noncommissioned
Officer (NCO) of the Year, and First Sergeant of the Year
for 2007 at Camp Williams.
The competition tested the participants on many different
levels including physical fitness, land-navigation skills,
rifle marksmanship and knowledge in common Soldier tasks.
At the end of the second day of competition, participants
went before a final board to demonstrate their qualities as
leaders and Soldiers.
“We have the overall best Soldiers, and this is the
competition the Soldiers will do at Region, First Armored
Division and FORSCOM,” said Utah National Guard Command Sgt.
Maj. Dell Smith.
Guard members in the past who competed for Soldier of the
Year only had to present themselves before a board. Last
year was the first time that Soldiers had to compete using
the different competition format.
“It’s important because it is a fairer system than just a
board system,” Smith added.
After the dust settled, the winners for Utah are as follows:
Spc. Colby D. Wallis - “Soldier of the Year”
Staff Sgt. Norman P. Rentschler - “NCO of the Year”
1st Sgt. Victor H. Gonzalez - “First Sergeant of the
The winners were honored Saturday evening at a banquet
dinner for participants and their families in the Officer’s
lounge at Camp Williams.
Wallis, a resident of St. George said about the competition,
“I like it. It’s actually good to put your skills to the
test against other soldiers in a friendly competition. I
wish all training was like this.”
Soldiers who competed in the Soldier of the Year contest
were as follows:
Sgt. Jonpaul C. Boyle -
115th Engineer Group - Physical Fitness Test, Land
Spc. Richard N.
Berry - 2-222nd Field Artillery
Spc. Tyler j. Decapot -
Spc. Andrew T.
Hill - HHC, 1-211th Aviation - WTT Hands On*
Spc. Aubrey L. Hill -
Support Co. 19th Special Forces Group - WTT Hands On*
Spc. Colby D. Wallis -
D. Co. 141st Military Intelligence Battalion - M-16
Qualifications, WTT Test, General Knowledge Test, and
*Events in Italics designate that the individual received
the highest score in that event.
Contestants for NCO of the Year were the following:
Shay G. Cowan – HHB, 2-222nd Field
Sgt. David A. Mabey – 144th Area Support Medical
Company - Physical Fitness Test, WTT Hands On, Land Nav*
Sgt. Norman P. Rentschler – 640th Regional
Brent T. Mayberry – HHC, 19th Special Forces
Natasha L. McCabe – HHC, 115th Engineer Group
First Class – Steven G. Watson – HHC, 300th
Military Intelligence Brigade
*Events in Italics
designate that the individual received the highest score in
These were the First Sergeant of the Year contestants:
1st Sgt. Alfred M. Dunston – Support Company, 19th
Special Forces Group
1st Sgt. Robert A. Gray – Alpha Company, 1457th
1st Sgt. Victor H. Gonzalez – Alpha Company, 141st
Military Intelligence Battalion
1st Sgt. Tracy F. Cartwright – Service Battery,
2–222nd Field Artillery
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