Merrill woman among best of 32nd Brigade

On Feb. 25-27, the 32d Infantry Brigade Combat Team conducted the 2011 Soldier of the Year and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Competition at the Wisconsin Military Academy, Fort McCoy. Sgt. Jessica M. Gray, of Merrill, a Chemical Operations Specialist for Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) Detachment 1 Brigade Special Troops Battalion, was selected as runner-up for NCO of the Year.

Competitors competed in a variety of areas including: their breadth and depth of knowledge concerning a variety of materials including military leadership and counseling, Warrior Tasks, Drill and Ceremony, First Aid, weapons qualification, appearance, and current events. They also participated in an Army Physical Fitness Test, a written essay, hands-on warrior tasks, M4 rifle qualification with a stress fire event, land navigation, and a personal appearance board.

“I think it’s good to reinforce the roles of a leader,” said Gray, “because sometimes I think, only doing it once a month, people forget and get a little lax. I’ve learned more in preparing for this than I’ve had to learn in my entire military career leading up to it. I feel now I’m more of an asset to my Soldiers and to the unit as a whole.”

The most outstanding NCO and Soldier selected will represent the 32d Infantry Brigade Combat Team at the State Competition held at Fort McCoy March 31 to April 3.

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