Rangers name NCO, Soldier of the Year


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

FORT BENNING, Ga. (USASOC News Service, June 23, 2008) — The 75th Ranger Regiment announced the winners of the Non-Commissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year competition during a ceremony at Fort Benning June 19.

Staff Sgt. William Israel, a Ranger Indoctrination Program instructor from the Regimental Special Troops Battalion was named NCO of the Year, and Spc. Barrett Kauling, a radio and communications security repairer from 3rd Battalion was named Soldier of the Year.

Both battalions are located at Fort Benning, Ga.

Seven Rangers representing three of the Regiment’s four battalions participated in the competition.

“The Rangers chosen to compete in the NCO and Soldier of the Year competition are hand selected to represent their respective battalions,” said Command Sergeant Major Douglas O. Pallister, regimental sergeant major, 75th Ranger Regiment “They are already winners just for being hand selected to compete at the Regiment level.”

The Rangers competed in seven Warrior task challenges including physical fitness, land navigation, weapons fire, hands-on Warrior skill testing, and a written essay and oral 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 tasks covered in the event are designed to be very demanding on a Soldier.

“The competition is tough and only the very best came out on top,” Pallister said.

Israel, a native of Bigfork, Mont., said the most challenging part of the competition was working the radio and communications equipment, and the oral board.

“During normal operations, I usually hand over communications to the commo guy,” Israel said. “And for the oral board, I really had to be on top of my game. It was tough.”

Israel said competing was a great experience for him and has made him a better, more professional NCO.

“I am honored to have won this competition,” he said. “If every NCO in the 75th Ranger Regiment had competed, I’m not sure I would have won.”

Kauling, who is from Ruther Glen, Va., said he never expected to go this far and is extremely honored to have won.

“The toughest part was knowing that a lot of people were counting on me to win, and I had a responsibility to my battalion to uphold,” Kauling said. “I took my time and kept my focus. The oral board was the best that I’ve done on any board.”

Israel and Kauling will represent the 75th Ranger Regiment in the 2008 U.S. Army Special Operations Command NCO and Soldier of the Year Competition at Fort Bragg, N.C., in July.


Staff Sgt. William Israel

Spc. Barrett Kauling
Congrats to both of them! Israel was a machine gunner attached to my team/squad on our first trip to A'stan.