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101st Airborne Division Soldier named XVIII Airborne Corps NCO of the Year

 

Written by Sgt. Neysa Canfield
101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs

101st Sustainment Brigade - LifelinersFort Campbell KY - 101st Airborne Division

Fort Campbell, KY – After four days of competition, Sgt. Michael Smith, a senior transmission systems operator/maintainer assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div., earned the title of the XVIII Abn. Corps Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, June 9th, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Smith, a Fowlerville, Michigan native, competed against nine NCOs to earn the title.

“This competition was definitely very challenging, but I had a great time doing it,” said Smith. “There were some really strong competitors and top-notch NCOs, and I knew I had to give it my all or else I didn’t stand a chance.”

Sgt. Michael Smith, center, a senior transmission systems operator/maintainer assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div., poses for a photo with his unit leadership, Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Perry, left, senior enlisted advisor for the brigade, and 1st Sgt. Roman Harrington, right, the 58th Signal Company first sergeant, after winning the XVIII Airborne Corps NCO of the Year competition June 9, 2017 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. (Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Perry)

Sgt. Michael Smith, center, a senior transmission systems operator/maintainer assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div., poses for a photo with his unit leadership, Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Perry, left, senior enlisted advisor for the brigade, and 1st Sgt. Roman Harrington, right, the 58th Signal Company first sergeant, after winning the XVIII Airborne Corps NCO of the Year competition June 9, 2017 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. (Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Perry)

The competition included obstacle courses, weapon qualifications, land navigation, medical lanes and many more physical and mental tasks.

“The most challenging thing for me throughout the competition was trying to keep my head clear under stress,” said Smith. “There were a lot of tasks being thrown at you and I just had to remember to keep my mind clear and on track on the task at hand.”

While Smith fought his way to victory at Fort Bragg, his leadership from Fort Campbell, to include his brigade commander, Col. Stanley J. Sliwinksi, knew he could win.

“Sgt. Smith is the epitome of what we want from our noncommissioned officer corps and our Air Assault Division,” he explained. “He is highly intelligent, technically competent, physically fit, leads from the front, and takes care of the Soldiers under his charge.”

Smith is the first Soldier from the 101st Abn. Div. Sust. Bde. to win the competition at the corps level and the first from the division since its win in 2015.

“I could not be prouder of [Smith’s] accomplishments and what he represents for our sustainment brigade, the Signal Corps, and our storied 101st Airborne Division,” said Sliwinski.

Smith will represent the XVIII Abn. Corps at the U.S. Army Forces Command Soldier/NCO of the Year competition in August.

Representing the 101st Abn. Div., the XVII Abn. Corps, and the Signal Corps is an enormous honor, and Smith plans to train even harder, he said.

“I believe that just because you do win or do great at something doesn’t mean you stop,” he said. “There is always room for improvement and that’s exactly what I am going to do.”


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