Blanchfield Army Community Hospital
Fort Campbell, KY – After a three-day Best Leader competition, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital named its Commissioned Officer, Non-Commissioned Officer, and Soldier of the Year during an award ceremony at the hospital, February 17th, 2022.
Capt. Joshua Lockwood, a dietitian from Nutrition Care Division, Sgt. Derrick Hise, a combat medical specialist assigned to Education and Staff Development, and Sgt. Sangoh Choi, a behavioral health specialist assigned to the Department of Behavioral Health, was named Commissioned Officer, NCO, and Soldier of the Year, respectively.
The competition is designed to promote “esprit de corps” while recognizing Soldiers who demonstrate a commitment to the Army values and embody the warrior ethos. The Best Leader competition recognizes those Soldiers demonstrating superb military bearing and communication skills, knowledge of various military subjects, and the ability to perform a variety of Soldier skills.
Enlisted participants were previous Soldier or NCO of the Quarter winners from the past year. The competition was administered and scored by hospital NCOs who incorporated an Army Combat Fitness Test; Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills like land navigation, ruck march, marksmanship, and combatives; plus medical skills required for Soldiers in medical military career fields. Participants also completed a written exam and essay, oral board, and tested their skills in combat water survival training.
“Even though they currently serve in a hospital, our Soldiers can deploy and they never know if they are going to find themselves in a situation where they have to use these skills, so it is important that they remain proficient in the different tasks and skills they have been putting into action during this competition,” said Santiago.
The competition originated from the Soldier and NCO of the Year Competition, but with the inclusion of commissioned officers O1-O3, was renamed Best Leader. Santiago said that it is important to include the junior officers because it will help them to be better leaders and enable readiness.
“It gave me an opportunity to do things that I’ve never done before,” said Lockwood, who participated in his first Army oral board. “That was definitely an eye opener and gave me further respect for what enlisted Soldiers have to do when they go up for promotion and Soldier of the Month and Quarter.”
Hise and Choi are veteran competitors, both previous participants in Soldier of the Month and Quarter boards.
“When I first got into the Army I never really wanted to do anything like this, but this organization has made me love what I do and the Army. And even if you don’t win, I would encourage every Soldier to compete in these events for the knowledge that you can get,” said Choi.
Santiago agreed and praised all the competitors for their enthusiasm and perseverance.
Other participants were Capt. Rose Dunn, Department of Optometry; Staff Sgt. Alvin Korus, Sgt. Taylor Stumma and Cpl. Geneva Tomolac, all from Medical Laboratory; Sgt. Masroor Ali, Department of Surgery; and Spc. Emicheka Somore, Preventive Medicine.
BACH’s Best Leaders will go on to represent the hospital in the Regional Health Command-Atlantic Best Leader Competition later this year.