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SDDC Soldier earns AMC Soldier of the Year title.

Though known as Global Surface Transportition Experts, SDDC's troops are warriors first, as evidenced by the fact that an SDDC Soldier was named Army Materiel Command's Soldier of the Year after a grueling competition in July.

Spc. Alex Perenishko of the 690th Rapid Port Opening Element (RPOE), 597th Transportation Brigade, earned the title "Best Warrior" after a weeklong series of obstacles, tests and challenges at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.

The challenges that competitors had to overcome ran the gamut from combat skills to physical endurance to medical duties. Soldiers had to fire on an M-4 range, do weapon checks on multiple firearms, properly deploy a hand grenade, evaluate casualties and arrange medical evacuations, spot and report improvised explosive devices, undergo several physical training tests and do day- and nighttime urban orientation and land navigation courses.

According to Perenishko, the most difficult event was the 12-mile road march. He said he had never marched that far before, which made for a new and difficult experience. However, Perenishko also said that the march was his favorite part of the competition.

"It was rough, but for me to go out and be able to knock it out on the first try ever was really fun," said Perenishko. "But it was hard because the march itself wasn't actually worth any points. Every mile for the first six miles we had to stop and answer a question, and then if you wanted the points for the questions you had to complete the march."

Before entering the AMC competition, Perenishko had to win the SDDC Soldier of the Year Competition in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, nearly 4,000 miles from the 690th RPOE's home in Fort Eustis, Va.

"The SDDC competition was tough, it was a huge change of environment for me and a really tough mental and physical challenge," said Perenishko.

Perenishko said both competitions have taught him valuable lessons he hopes to bring back to his unit.

"It's great knowledge and experience to go back and share with my company," said Perenishko. "And it will help me encourage the other Soldiers to try to do something like this when the time comes ... I more or less just want all the Soldiers to know that anyone can do it."

Sgt. Randy Rodriguez, also of the 597th Trans. Bde., participated in the AMC Soldier of the Year competition representing SDDC as NCO of the Year.

Perenishko and AMC NCO of the Year Sgt. John Ferguson, Army Sustainment Command, received a trophy and an iPod touch, and competed in the Department of the Army Best Warrior 2010 competition at Fort Lee, Va. in October.


By Erik Johnson, SDDC Command Affairs
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Title Annotation:in transit visibility: transportation and logistics news
Author:Johnson, Erik
Date:Sep 22, 2010
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