Fort McCoy News September 27, 2013

181st Soldier FORSCOM NCO of the Year runner up

A Soldier from the 181st Infantry Brigade has put Fort McCoy on the map throughout U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM).

Staff Sgt. Brett Oldenburger, a trainer/mentor with the 1st, 310th Infantry Regiment, distinguished himself among the elite when he placed second in the 2013 FORSCOM Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year competition earlier this summer.

Staff Sgt. Brett Oldenburger of the 1st, 310th Infantry Regiment,
competes in the U.S. Army Forces Command NCO of the Year
Contributed photo

This fierce competition takes the top 16 NCOs across FORSCOM and has them compete in 10 mentally and physically demanding events, which consisted of the Army physical fitness test including pull ups and rope climb, day and night land navigation, an obstacle course, two written essays, a written test, a combatives event, a combat life-savers lane, an 8-mile foot march, M4 qualification range, and a board appearance.

The events were conducted one after another over the course of three days to provide a cumulative effect that increased the amount of stress and fatigue placed upon the competitors. In addition, the competitors were not told which events they would be performing until the actual event started.

When asked how he dealt with the fast-paced competition, Oldenburger said, "You could only focus on the task at hand. No looking forward because you don't know what's next, and no looking back because you can't dwell on what you could have done better or you will defeat yourself."

The path to the 2013 FORSCOM NCO of the Year competition was no easy feat. Oldenburger had to compete and win at Brigade, Division, and First Army levels in order to compete in the FORSCOM-level competition. Only the best and brightest had the opportunity to compete at such a high level.

"It was a really good experience," Oldenburger said. "There were a lot of good competitors. Despite the fierce competition there was still a sense of camaraderie and brotherhood. We still helped each other out in certain things, which demonstrates to me how strong the ties of our profession are."

Lt. Col. Anthony Campbell, 1st, 310th Infantry Regiment commander, expressed great excitement for Oldenburger's accomplishment.

"Staff Sergeant Oldenburger is an outstanding NCO, and the 1st, 310th Soldiers and Command Team are very proud of his accomplishments during the 2013 FORSCOM NCO of the Year competition," he said.

Oldenburger will serve as the alternate to represent FORSCOM in the Army Best Warrior Competition being held in October. For his outstanding efforts, Oldenburger was inducted into the Audie Murphy Club as an honorary member.

(Submitted by Capt. John Schaffler, A Team, officer in charge, 1st, 310th Infantry Battalion.)