Hospital names NCO, Soldier of year

by Sgt. Phillip Breedlove Jr.
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Public Affairs

The Landstuhl Regional Medical Center NCO and Soldier of the Year for 2003 was named recently at the LRMC Holiday Ball.
The NCO of the Year was Sgt. Deanna Swords, NCO in charge of the LRMC Gastroentemology Clinic, and the Soldier of the Year was Spc. Gurusaha Good, medical specialist with LRMC Medical Surgical Ward. They each won nearly $3,000 in prizes.
Sergeant Swords said winning the competition required a combination of skill, preparation and luck.
“All the Soldiers and NCOs who have risen to that level are the best of the best,” the sergeant said.
“It just matters who’s on their game that day. You don’t know everything. You can’t memorize every question,” she said. “It all comes down to if they ask you the questions you happen to remember that day.”
The pair plan to move on to the Europe Regional Medical Command Soldier and NCO of the Year board to take home that title in March. To prepare, they have undergone “intense and thorough training.”
Due to the tactics of the competition, Sergeant Swords said they prefer not to release the details of the training, but said it involves physical training, marksmanship, common task training and general Soldier knowledge.
Specialist Good considers herself somewhat inexperienced, being in the Army just under two years. One of the obstacles she must overcome is her lack of confidence.
“One of the things I am trying to build up is a little bit of arrogance when I go in front of the board.”
To help with this and other areas, Specialist Good, who normally works night shift, transferred over to work the day shift so she could study and train with Sergeant Swords.
“We have a common goal and she has a lot more experience that I can learn from. She has the motivation I need to be influenced by.”
Sergeant Swords emphasized that creating a good Soldier who can move on to proudly represent the command at a board competition is not an individual effort.
“My Soldiers have supported me by taking on a heavier mission load so I can get my training in to compete,” Sergeant Swords said. “The Soldiers I have led and supported are now supporting me.”
Sergeant Swords attributed part of her success to the command’s desire to balance soldiering and the day-to-day missions despite the increase in tempo.
“This is the largest military hospital in Europe with an incredibly demanding mission, but we’ve never let our training slack,” the sergeant said. “This competition proves we can still produce stellar NCOs and Soldiers to represent our hospital.”