Fort Benning Community
Evans ACH NCO, Soldier of the Year named
Story by Alexandra Shea on 02/26/2019
Evans Army Community Hospital named their 2019 Noncomissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year during an award ceremony on Feb. 22, 2019 in Cochrane Hall at Fort Carson, Colorado.
Both winners, Sgt. Mattheus D. Jonkman and Spc. Fernando Segura, represented the Evans ACH medical maintenance department.
“A part of me felt like I had a chance at this,” said Segura. “But I was shook when they called my name.”
The annual competition tested each Soldier’s physical and mental prowess. The four-day competition started with an Army physical fitness test, followed by a written exam and hand-written essay. Throughout the rest of the week, Soldiers competed against each other in events such as Army warrior task lanes, an obstacle course, 12-mile ruck march and an oral board.
“The competition really brought out the best in me,” said Jonkman. “I really learned about my weaknesses so I can prepare for regional NCO for competition.”
Jonkman and Segura are eligible to compete for the Regional Health Command-Central NCO and Soldier of the Year competition that will be held later this year at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, Texas.
Both biomedical equipment specialists, Jonkman and Segura agreed the most challenging event during the competition was the AWT lanes. The lanes simulated a scenario where they came under small-arms fire while moving through rough terrain. A squad member was then injured and given first aid, carried to a small clearing and then evacuated after using a radio to call in a nine-line medical evacuation by helicopter.
“We fix medical equipment across the hospital,” said Jonkman. “We don’t do patient care ever.”
According to Segura, biomedical maintenance specialists receive basic first-aid training but the competition required additional studying and training to meet the requirements for grading.
Both also agreed the 12-mile ruck march was their strongest event.
“I definitely pushed my limits on the ruck” said Segura.
Jonkman, an avid fan of obstacle running, set a new personal record for himself during the 12-mile ruck march and received a commander’s coin for being the first to complete the march during the competition.
“I couldn’t be more ecstatic for our winners,” said Medical Department Activity-Ft. Carson Troop Commander, Lt. Col. Christopher S. Besser. “We are going to continue to coach, train and mentor the winners and give them time to prepare for the regional competition.”
Jonkman stated he is already preparing to win the upcoming RHC-C competition and Besser explained if he were a betting man, he wouldn’t bet against Jonkman.