By Alexandra Shea
U.S. Army Medical Department Activity-Fort Carson
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Evans Army Community Hospital (EACH) named its 2019 NCO and Soldier of the Year during an awards ceremony Feb. 22, 2019, in Cochrane Hall at Fort Carson.
“A part of me felt like I had a chance at this,” said Segura, a biomedical equipment specialist. “But I was (shocked) when they called my name.”
The annual competition tested each Soldier’s physical and mental prowess. The four-day competition started with an Army physical fitness test, followed by a written exam and handwritten essay. Throughout the rest of the week, Soldiers competed against each other in events such as Army warrior task (AWT) lanes, an obstacle course, 12-mile ruck march and an oral board.
“The competition really brought out the best in me,” said Jonkman, a biomedical equipment specialist. “I really learned about my weaknesses so I can prepare for regional NCO … competition.”
Jonkman and Segura are eligible to compete for the Regional Health Command-Central (RHC-C) NCO and Soldier of the Year competition that will be held later this year at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, Texas.
Jonkman and Segura agreed the most challenging event during the competition was the AWT lanes. The lanes simulated a scenario where they came under small-arms fire while moving through rough terrain. A squad member was then injured and given first aid, carried to a small clearing and evacuated after using a radio to call in a nine-line MedEvac by helicopter.
“We fix medical equipment across the hospital,” said Jonkman. “We don’t do patient care ever.”
According to Segura, biomedical maintenance specialists receive basic first-aid training but the competition required additional studying and training to meet the requirements for grading.
Both agreed the 12-mile ruck march was their strongest event.
“I definitely pushed my limits on the ruck,” said Segura.
Jonkman, an avid fan of obstacle running, set a new personal record for himself during the 12-mile ruck march and received a commander’s coin for being the first to complete the march during the competition.
“I couldn’t be more ecstatic for our winners,” said Lt. Col. Christopher S. Besser, troop commander, Medical Department Activity-Fort Carson. “We are going to continue to coach, train and mentor the winners and give them time to prepare for the regional competition”
Jonkman said he is already preparing to win the upcoming RHC-C competition.
Besser said if he were a betting man, he wouldn’t bet against Jonkman.