Iron Eagle brigade names NCO Soldier of the Year

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CAB PAO, 4th Inf. Div.

CAMP TAJI, Iraq – Two Soldiers from the Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, were crowned champions during the “Iron Eagle” brigade’s Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year competition at Camp Taji Sept. 15.

Sgt. Jamiell Dominguez, a Seattle native, who serves as a flight medic assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, took top honors as NCO of the Year while Spc. Thomas Elfar, a petroleum supply specialist assigned to Co. C, 1st Bn., 4th Avn. Regt., from Punta, Fla., was named Soldier of the Year.

Command Sgt. Maj. Archie Davis serves as the presiding official and host of the event was the brigade’s top enlisted leader and described the competition as a “tight race” before announcing his decision to the competitors anxiously waiting for the results.

Spc. Thomas Elfar, CAB Soldier of the Year, listens as results are announced.
Spc. Thomas Elfar, petroleum supply specialist, Company E, 1st Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, MultiNational Division – Baghdad, listens as the results are announced during the conclusion of the Iron Eagle Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year competition here Sept. 16. Elfar, who hails from Punta, Fla., went on to win the CAB Soldier of the Year title.

“Everyone who competed today is a winner,” he said, to the small formation of Soldiers eager to here the results of the four-hour long contest.

“Your service to your country and to this great organization is a testament of your dedication as professional Soldiers and noncommissioned officers. You represent only one percent of the United States. Not everyone can do what we do. You should be proud to wear this uniform,” he said.

Both NCOs and Soldiers were subject to tough questions posed by command sergeant majors from across the brigade. The competitors were all previous winners of quarterly competitions over the past year.

Flight medic Sgt. Jamiell Dominguez answers questions from Command Sgt. Maj. Archie Davis during the brigade Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year competition
Sgt. Jamiell Dominguez, flight medic, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, MultiNational Division – Baghdad, answers questions posed by Command Sgt. Maj. Archie Davis during the brigade’s Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year competition held on Camp Taji Sept. 16. Dominguez, who hails from Seattle, went on to win the CAB NCO of the Year title. Her previous board experiences include being named the Forces Command Soldier of the Year in 2007.

The questions ranged from basic Soldier knowledge all the way to details of the presidential race and the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Ike in southeast Texas.

Dominguez, who was named the 2007 Forces Command Soldier of the Year, experienced her second win as an NCO. To date, she has claimed top honors during six separate boards.

“I had the opportunity to compete at the Soldier level, it was really amazing,” Dominguez said after winning a quarterly board competition last week.

A group of Combat Aviation Brigade soldiers wait to hear the results of the brigade NCO and Soldier of the Year competition.
A group of Soldiers from the Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, MultiNational Division – Baghdad, stand ready to hear the results of the brigade’s Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year competition during the conclusion of board proceedings at the Iron Eagle conference room here Sept. 16. Hosted by Command Sgt. Maj. Archie Davis, three NCOs and three Soldiers competed for the coveted titles.

“It was a little scary to come back as a noncommissioned officer; I was facing my fear and adversity, and there’s always ‘what if I don’t hold up to my reputation.’ As long as you do your personal best, that is what it’s all about.”

Elfar has also won multiple board competitions at the brigade level and hopes to follow in the footsteps of Dominguez. While he has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Elfar said he has worked hard towards earning his sergeant stripes as well as the board competitions.

flight medic Sgt. Jamiell Dominguez, NCO of the Year sings The Army Song.
Sgt. Jamiell Dominguez, flight medic, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, MultiNational Division – Baghdad, belts out The Army Song during the Iron Eagle brigade’s Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year competition here Sept. 15. Dominguez, a native of Seattle, went on to earn the coveted NCO of the Year title.

“These competitions are no joke, and you have to do a lot of studying prior to competing,” Elfar said, shortly after being named the Iron Eagle Soldier of the Year.”

“My goal is to progress and reach the next rank as quickly as possible, not only for my career, but for my Family as well.”

By Sgt. Jason Dangel