SAN ANTONIO â€” A transportation specialist from Fort Bliss and a military police investigations supervisor from U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern will represent the U.S. Army Installation Management Command at the Armyâ€™s Best Warrior competition later this year.
Spc. Kevin Mulloy, representing the IMCOM Central Region, and Staff Sgt. Robert Donovan, representing the Europe Region, were named IMCOM Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year April 26 after a five-day competition that tested the skills of warriors from each of IMCOMâ€™s four regions.
The Soldiers and NCOs competed in a series of tests â€” beginning with a physical fitness test and running the gamut from basic Soldier skills to night land navigation.
â€œThank you for putting together such an elite competition,â€ Donovan told leadership as he accepted the recognition. â€œI can assure you that I added a great number of tools to my kitbag.
â€œA lot of people ask me â€˜Why do you keep doing these competitions? Why is a staff sergeant willing to go to boards, even though, technically, I donâ€™t have to go to boards anymore?â€™â€ The answer, according to Donovan, is to become a better leader by becoming a better Soldier. â€œI want to do everything â€¦ I want to push myself to the limits. To be an NCO, you have to lead from the front.â€
Mulloy credited his faith and family for many of his successes, but also thanked other participants in the competition. â€œYour motivation and drive pushed me harder and harder to continue on,â€ he said.
He recalled words from Command Sgt. Maj. Donald Felt, Central Region command sergeant major: â€œâ€™Mulloy, never quit.â€™ And then lo, and behold, [IMCOM Command Sgt. Maj. Earl] Rice said the exact same thing. So to both of these command sergeants major, thank you for your words. Two words. Never quit. It really hit me.â€
The goal of the competition was to find the best Soldiers in IMCOM to be those representatives, Rice said. But the competition also serves as an awesome leader development tool to strengthen our NCO Corps and protect the future of our Army by developing competent and confident NCOs, he added.
â€œWhen they push themselves to their limits [in a competition like this one], they know how to push their Soldiers beyond what they think they can do,â€ Rice said.
A sponsor accompanied each Soldier and NCO from his or her region, and the command sergeant major from each region was on hand to observe and assist â€” and take part by sitting on a board during the competition.
In the evenings, the competitors and mentors attended a NCO professional development session on the profession of arms presented by their region command sergeant major.
â€œThis year, we built in time for training into the competition schedule,â€ Lavender said.
â€œWhen weâ€™re so busy serving and supporting war fighters, when do we get our training in?â€ she asked. â€œSo this week we train them up, not just for this competition, but to mentor them and make them better Soldiers.â€
The experience was â€œchallenging, inspirational and educational,â€ said Sgt. Randy Roscoe of Fort Huachuca, Central Region representative and the runner-up IMCOM NCO of the Year. â€œYou can read a book or training manual all day long, but if you donâ€™t apply where you can be evaluated â€” and pushed â€” you never improve.â€
Donovan was grateful for that training throughout the week.
â€œThis event humbled me,â€ he said, â€œand made me realize how much more there still is to learn. If I donâ€™t know these warrior tasks, my Soldiers wonâ€™t, either.
â€œThe physical stuff, I can do all day,â€ he said. â€œBut I learned more in one profession of arms class here-about balancing being a Soldier and a family man-than ever before. If nothing else, thatâ€™s something Iâ€™ll remember always, Iâ€™ll take that with me wherever I go.â€