Asmundsen named NCO of the year
United States Army National Guard Sergeant Trevor Asmundsen was honored as the 1st Battalion, 120th Field Artillery NCO (Noncommissioned Officer) of the year on Sept. 7. After nine grueling events over two days, Sept. 6 and 7, related to army tactics and physical and mental ability, Asmundsen separated himself from the pack taking first place in over half of the events.
A 2016 Merrill High School graduate, Asmundsen has made his way through the ranks fairly quick. In November of 2018 Asmundsen was ranked as a Private First Class (PFC), however he saw an opportunity to step into a leadership role. Asmundsen took the vacant position and was soon promoted to E-5 (Sergeant).
“I really tried to become proficient in my job of artillery as fast as I could,” said Asmundsen. “I was a Private First Class (E-3 position) and there was a vacant spot in my section which was an E-5 position and I stepped into that position when no one else wanted to, and that kinda opened their eyes to my leadership and what I want to do, so I just ranked up pretty fast from there.”
As Sergeant, Asmundsen was one of the lower ranked soldiers in the competition, going up against a few Staff Sergeants (E-6) and First Class Sergeants (E-7), however Asmundsen was still able to showcase his skills.
“The competition had some higher ranked soldiers like a couple Staff Sergeants and maybe a First Class Sergeant or two,” Asmundsen explained.
Asmundsen then continued to describe the events he had to participate in.
“The first competition was a board, where we got in our dress blues and answered some basic soldier questions that we should know,” Asmundsen said. “Then we had seven minutes to change into our PT (Physical Training) uniforms and go do a PT test. After the PT test we waited until dark and did a nighttime-land navigation, where we had to plot points and find them in the night and that was it for Friday’s tests. Saturday morning we woke up at 4 a.m. and did a ruck march, where we had to wear full battle rattle and a 35-pound ruck sack and they threw a little curve ball at us. “Right before our march they dumped out a box full of random objects and we had 30 seconds to memorize each object. Then we went on our six-mile march and when we came back, we had to write down each item from the box and what color it was. After that we had to take apart a few guns and do function checks, we had to evaluate and treat a casualty, fill a radio and ‘nine line’ a medevac. Our last three events were in drill and ceremony, then we stood in formation and did a ‘simon says’ type of thing before finishing the tests with daytime-land navigation.”
With this achievement Asmundsen now qualifies for the Wisconsin Best Warrior competition at Fort McCoy, which will take place in April of 2020.
“We are one of the few battalions that hold a competition to see who goes to the state event,” Asmundsen added. “But we do it early enough so now I have time to train for the state event, which will be 14 events compared to the nine events we did.”