The U.S. Army announced June 5 the winners of its chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear competition for 2014.
Staff Sgt. Edward Schmitt, of Lake Mills, Wisconsin, with the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 54th Civil Support Team was awarded the CBRN Noncommissioned Officer of the Year award for the Army. The competition included all components of the Army, including Active, National Guard, and Reserve.
The competitors were evaluated based on their merits and leadership skills both within and outside the Army. Soldiers were nominated by their first sergeants and commanders, and a board reviewed each competitor's packet during judging at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, in April.
"We nominated Sgt. Schmitt because he is the ideal NCO," said Sgt. 1st Class Matt Tracy of the 54th CST. "He is smart, dedicated to the mission and his Soldiers, and physically is above and beyond. Whatever your definition of an NCO would be, he fits that."
Schmitt has entered numerous competitions throughout the years, including the Army National Guard's Best Warrior competition where he took 3rd place in 2013, and an Ironman Triathlon where he placed within the top twenty percent.
Tracy explained that in order to win the competition, Soldiers need to not only know their CBRN tasks, but also must master the new threats and responses that continue threatening today's world.
"He is one of the most dedicated soldiers I've known," said Capt. Jeremiah Hellenbrand of the 54th CST. "He's a great leader who is always watching out for his troops, setting up missions for not only his team, but for others as well."
When asked what it takes to prepare for the competition, Schmitt explained that Soldiers have to push themselves to stand out.
"Try to get on top of any CBRN training that you can, get on the Commandant List, and anything else you can do to make yourself stand out," said Schmitt. "You're going up against every other CBRN Soldier in the U.S. Army."