Salutes & Awards

May 10, 2012

Perfect storm of passion, support brings triumph

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By Alton Dunham
Special to the Scout
Evan Dyson, IMCOM Public Affairs
The top Soldiers and noncommissioned officers from each of the four regions of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command gathered at Camp Bullis, San Antonio, Texas, to compete in the IMCOM Best Warrior competition during the last week in April. Here, Sgt. Randy Roscoe demonstrated his abilities during an obstacle course.

Sgt. Randy Roscoe, Headquarters, Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison, is the first runner-up in the 2012 U.S. Army Installation Management Command Best Warrior Competition. Roscoe was selected as the Huachuca representative, took first in his region, then bested all but one of his peers in a grueling five-day event that tested the skills of warriors from each of IMCOM’s four regions. Now his duty is to retain the vast skill set that allowed him to succeed in case he is called to represent IMCOM at the Department of Army level.

Already promotable, Roscoe had a great case for no longer wanting to compete in boards or competitions. His motivation was found in his desire to live out the Noncommissioned Officer Creed.

“When people put challenges in front of me, I want to go out there do my best and triumph,” he said. “When I arrived here, I wanted to make a statement and as an NCO, set an example. I needed to be successful before I could ask a Soldier under me to try something like this.”

However, performing so well was easier said than done. His triumph seems to be a perfect storm of a passionate and highly capable NCO and the full support of a command climate intended on setting his conditions for success.

The journey began months ago with a blanket understanding that he could be tested on any skill level one or two task required of a Soldier. To ready him, his unit decided they would begin by casting a wide net that prepared him for anything.

“The planning and execution of my command was the best I have seen since I have been in the Army.” Roscoe said. “They were very resourceful. If we didn’t have what I needed to train on, they found it, along with NCOs to assist with the training.”

Along the way he was exposed to everything he would need to know. As a behavioral health specialist, he had little experience with crew-served weapons. The 18th Military Police Detachment was brought in to help, and HHC also reached out to 40th Signal to obtain the correct weapons.

When Roscoe struggled at a mock board, members of the Sgt. Audie Murphy club assisted with tips. Knowing he faced an air-assault certified obstacle course as one of the key events, air-assault qualified Soldiers stepped forward to show the best way to navigate each hurdle. His first sergeant personally drilled him in combatives until he was unbeatable. Although his organic unit might be considered small, his train-up team pulled from assets from the entire Fort including non-garrison entities.

Even with significant resources, Roscoe himself had to put in the work necessary to achieve. One Thursday at 4 a.m., he struggled with a simulated night land navigation course. Immediately he asked to do it again Friday night until he felt confident. HHC’s training NCO developed a schedule that kept his pace, and prior to the IMCOM board, he had logged well over 40 hours of board preparation, and dozens of miles road marching and conducting day-and-night land navigation. Every member of his unit greeted him with three board questions, daily. For every task, a unit representative was by his side putting in the same amount of effort.

His sponsor for the competition, Staff Sgt. Joelyn Dotterer, joked that “we did allow him Sundays off,” but even then Roscoe was reported to have his nose in a field manual or two.

What Roscoe and his team set out to do was exactly in-line with the spirit of the competition. “The hunger to compete, to win, to do one’s personal best will bring out the best in these Soldiers, and that’s good for them, IMCOM, and the Army,” according to IMCOM Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Rice.
“When 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,” Rice said.

Roscoe’s will and the support of his team relieved most of the pressure he felt in the actual competition.

“The entire event, I felt relaxed,” he said. “My unit never put any pressure on me; they just wanted me to do my best. I wanted to go there and set a good example. I was competing for myself but more for Fort Huachuca.”

Roscoe now prepares in case he is called to be IMCOM’s champion this fall. He also has his sights set on mentoring other Soldiers who answer the Best Warrior challenge and perhaps competing again in 2013. He recommends the experience to anyone willing to test themselves and interested in career advancement.
“Coming from the 82nd I was always pushed to go to [Army] schools, like Air Assault School and Ranger School. I realize you can also go to boards and progress in your career, especially at this level.

“This experience has made me want to accomplish more and to make a difference in my career. I like being pushed, challenged. I want to feel accomplished.”

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