GMC News

Alumnus Chosen 48th NCO of the Year


Story by Sgt. David Bill
48th Brigade Combat Team
Public Affairs Office

While training, planning and preparation for the 48th Brigade’s impending departure for Iraq and the Global War on Terrorism, the 48th Brigade Combat Team (BCT) continued the tradition of selecting the best of the best within its ranks with its Soldier of the Year and Non Commissioned Officer of the Year competition.

Specialist Amie Linville is the Soldier of the Year, while Sgt. Chad Mercer is named Non Commissioned Officer of the Year for the 48th Brigade Combat Team.
Linville, a tank mechanic with Hinesville’s Company B, 148th Forward Support Battalion, said, “It gives me confidence that will help me in Iraq.” Mercer, a team leader with Cordele’s Company B, 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry, and a former Georgia Military College student, added, “Soldiers should study hard and make it look good, and learning the material will help me in my MOS as an infantryman.”

Seven enlisted Soldiers and eight NCOs came together to represent their respective units before a board of brigade sergeants major in a formal question and answer format. Board members also evaluated Common Task Testing (CTT) proficiency.

The competing Soldiers had to complete tasks involving care of the M16 rifle, evaluating a casualty, first aid to prevent shock and reacting to a chemical or biological attack. The NCOs also had to perform the task of issuing a warning order.

48th BCT Command Sgt. Maj. James Nelson said he asked Brig. Gen. Stewart Rodeheaver, the 48th’s commander, about conducting this “friendly competition” while at Fort Stewart. This, Nelson said, “continues the tradition of selecting the outstanding Brigade Soldier and NCO for competition at the state level in Macon later this year.” General Rodeheaver agreed to his request, Nelson added.

Specialist Neal Andreson of Gainesville’s Company C, 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry, said, “It was a learning experience. I got in around 10:30 p.m. and cleaned my weapon until about 1 a.m. to get ready.” After meeting with the board, Andreson, another Georgia Military College student, from Bowman said, “I feel the pressure is off, and I’m glad it’s over.”

Fellow Sgt. Louis Bailly, a food specialist with the 48th’s Headquarters Company, said, “It helps you train Soldiers better because you know the process.” Now that the competition is over, I plan to study harder for the next the board, Bailly said.

With Rodeheaver, his staff and the 48th’s battalion commanders in attendance, Nelson announced the winners. General Rodeheaver presented brigade coins to each board participant, while the audience applauded enthusiastically and shouted “hooah” to their fellow Soldiers. Nelson said that a more formal presentation of awards for the Soldier and NCO of the Year is forthcoming.

Picutred: Chad Mercer is congratulated by BG Stewart Rodeheaver, 48th BCT Commander, after being selected as 48th BCT NCO of the Year. (Photo by Sgt. David Bill)