75th Ranger Regiment Announces NCO and Soldier of the Year


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice

FORT BENNING, Ga. (USASOC News Service, July 11, 2011) —The 75th Ranger Regiment announced the winners of the Non-Commissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year Competition during a ceremony at the Ranger Memorial July 1.

The 2011 Non-commissioned Officer of the Year is Sgt. Christian Henry, a unit supply specialist, and the Soldier of the Year is Spc. Zachary Liermann, an infantryman.

Henry is assigned to the Regimental Special Troops Battalion here and Liermann is assigned to 2nd Battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

The NCO and Soldier of the Year Competition is designed to select the Soldier and NCO who represents the best of the best, based on performance, potential and professional knowledge.

Three Non-Commissioned Officers and two Soldiers representing their respective battalions participated in the competition.

“Conducting these types of competitions keeps our Rangers competitive and represents their men,” said the Regimental Command Sergeant Major, Command Sgt. Maj. Rick Merritt, the guest speaker for today’s ceremony. “We do not use war as an excuse; rather we use these competitions to maintain our professionalism, tradition and legacy.”

For more than 3500 days, the 75th Ranger Regiment has been continuously deployed since October 2001.

The competitors competed in Army Physical Fitness Test, M-4 Qualification, Stress Shoot, Common Task Testing, Land Navigation, a five mile run, combatives, leaders reaction course, urban orienteering, written exam, essay, and a board.

Each event had a points value assigned and the NCO and Soldier with the most points at the end of the competition earned the respective titles.

“The best part of the competition was the learning experience,” said Henry, a native of Miami, Fla. “The leaders reaction course was a good tool to assess leaders on new situations that are not only stressful but physically and mentally challenging.”

Some of the CTT events included Ranger First Responder, casualty reporting, radio communications, reaction to a chemical or biological nuclear attack, combatives, and call for fires.

For Liermann, the competition meant honoring his team leader who died on March 16, 2010 as a result of wounds received during a fierce direct-fire combat engagement in Farah Province Afghanistan on March 13, 2010.

“I dedicated my performance to Sgt. Joel Clarkson and competed in his honor,” said Liermann, a native of Manitowoc, Wis. “I’m excited about representing Regiment at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command competition.”

Henry and Liermann are scheduled to represent the 75th Ranger Regiment in the 2011 U.S. Army Special Operations Command NCO and Soldier of the Year Competition at Fort Bragg, N.C. later this month.