FORT IRWIN, Calif. — Enlisted Soldiers attached to the Medical Activity at the National Training Center were put through rigorous tasks to compete for Weed Army Community Hospital’s Non-Commission Officer of the Year and Soldier of the Year Jan. 12.
“I tried to mentally prepare for [Soldier of the Year competition] but going through it was a lot tougher than what I anticipated,” said Spec. Kwanisha Jones, a licensed practical nurse for the Mother Baby Unit at Weed Army Community Hospital.
Jones, WACH’s Soldier of the Year, along with Sgt. Maria V. Cuayzon, WACH’s NCO of the Year, will go on to compete at their Regional Health Command’s level and, if successful, they will then progress to U.S. Army Medical Command’s Best Warrior competition. Best Warriors from every Department of the Army (DA) Commands will compete to be the NCO and Soldier of the Year for the Army.
Being a part of a Medical Activity at the National Training Center puts WACH Soldiers in a position where they are tested by their ability to serve our country, all the while providing quality health care. In the event of either Jones or Cuayzon making it to DA’s NCO and Soldier of the Year competition, there is a possibility of competing against one of their peers from the National Training Center who will progress through the Forces Command chain-of-command.
“This is a culminating event from months and months of hard work,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Albert H. Harris. “This is going to make them a better Soldier and leader because the time they put in and the knowledge they gain from this is beneficial for them and for the Army in the long run.”
Harris, the current senior enlisted adviser for WACH, is preparing to depart to take command as the Command Sgt. Maj. of the 5th Battalion, 306th Brigade Support Battalion at Fort Stewart, Ga., and he hopes he sets the next CSM up for success.
“I think we selected the right Soldiers for the competition at Region,” he said. “They put in a lot of hard work [and] they truly deserve this.”