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.
“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.
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.
“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.
“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