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SSC-Natick Press Release

U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Kansas Street
Natick, MA 01760-5012

Contact: Chief, Public Affairs Office
(508) 233-5340

Date: June 23, 2005
No: 05-31

Soldier excels at RDECOM competition

NATICK, Mass. -- The Research, Development and Engineering Command's (RDECOM) Soldier of the Year will compete at the next level when he travels to Fort Belvoir, Va., for the Army Materiel Command (AMC) Soldier of the Year board scheduled for June 20-24.

Spc. John Wild won the RDECOM award after his performance in front of a board of senior enlisted members at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. His evaluation also included the results from an Army Physical Fitness Test and testing on common Soldier tasks, such as administering first aid.

Wild said he studied at every opportunity for two weeks straight the 16 military subjects from which board members draw their questions, and even at that he couldn't cover it all.

"Of course I was nervous, but I thought I did well," Wild said. "It was my best performance, and I hope I do better at the next one."

"To know every question isn't possible," he said. "It's fun to go to a higher board for the competition. It would be nice to go the (Department of Army) level, but if I come close to winning at AMC, that'll be satisfying."

The infantryman from Wolcott, N.Y., has been in the Army for nearly two years and was accepted to become a Human Research Volunteer at the Soldier Systems Center during a recruiting visit during his basic and advanced training at Fort Benning, Ga.

He said he decided to join the Army because he thought it would be fun and was influenced by his older brother who expressed interest in joining. In his time at Natick, Wild has participated in studies on nitrogen balance and cold water immersion as well as helping out with other duties as a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment.

"I didn't have any expectations (on coming to Natick)," Wild said. "It's been nice."

Although his time here may be coming to a close in the next year, the Army figures to be his employer in the longer term. He has applied to become a warrant officer and attend flight training to become a helicopter pilot.

If that doesn't work out, he said his other choice is to stay enlisted and change his career field to military intelligence.

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This page last updated on 23 January 2004.