Post names top Soldier, NCO
Lt. Col. Lance Calvert, commander, 3rd AHB, 1st Avn. Regt., far left, and Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Wood, acting senior NCO, CAB, far right, congratulate 1st Inf. Div. NCO of the Quarter Sgt. Kelvin Cepeda and 1st Inf. Div. Soldier of the Quarter Spc. Luisa Leon following a ceremony Oct. 21. Both winners are assigned to HHC, 3rd AHB, 1st Avn. Regt.
Story by: Mollie Miller
1ST INF. DIV. PUBLIC AFFAIRS
History was made at Fort Riley as two Soldiers assigned to not only the same battalion, but also to the same company were named the best of the "Big Red One" during a ceremony Oct. 21, 2011.
Sgt. Kelvin Cepeda and Spc. Luisa Leon, both with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Attack Helicopter Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, took home Noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter and Soldier of the Quarter honors for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2012.
"Nine young men and women came in and fought all week for these titles," said Command Sgt. Maj. Jim Thomson, 1st Infantry Division acting senior noncommissioned officer. "Each of these warriors put forth a fantastic effort, and it was a really great competition."
The four-day competition was conducted Oct. 18 to 21 on the grounds of Fort Riley. The schedule featured many events designed to test the competitors' Soldier skills and focused on areas including land navigation, physical fitness, warrior tasks, marksmanship and Army knowledge.
"It was a hard competition, but no one gave up, everyone kept pushing forward," Leon said. "I personally just tried as hard as I could, and I didn't stop. I ran when I needed to run, I shot my best, I just went for it."
Cepeda, a petroleum supply specialist, and Leon, an aviation operations specialist, said they began preparing for the competition about two months ago.
"We worked together preparing for the competition almost every day," Leon said. "We tested each other and did a lot of studying."
Cepeda said he and Leon spent a lot of time during their lunch hours and after work preparing for the competition, setting up mock boards and doing as many activities as possible to make sure they were ready for whatever challenges the division-level event might throw at them.
The two "Nightmare" Battalion Soldiers said they believe this extensive preparation, as well as the great support of their entire unit, helped carry them to success in the quarterly competition.
"There is no mission too difficult, and I truly believe that," Cepeda said. "I just believe in doing everything to the best of my ability, and, in the end, it always pays off."
Following a short break to celebrate their win, Cepeda and Leon said they plan to get back into their training schedule, working hard to get ready for the division's Soldier and NCO of the Year competition, scheduled to take place next spring.
"We have about nine months to prepare for the next round, so we are going to start hitting it hard," Cepeda said. "Hopefully we can do this again."