Army Staff Sgt. Ryan K. Smith, operations directorate (J3) training noncommissioned officer, was named the Senior Service Member of the Quarter, while Marine Sgt. Julian Saltzman, plans, strategy and policy directorate (J5) administrative specialist, was named the Junior Service member of the Quarter for the second quarter of 2010.
MAC DILL AFB, Fla. (June 25, 2010) — U.S. Central Command’s Junior and Senior Service Members of the Quarter were announced during a ceremony here July 22.
For the second quarter of 2010, Army Staff Sgt. Ryan K. Smith, operations directorate (J3) training noncommissioned officer, was named the Senior Service Member of the Quarter, while Marine Sgt. Julian Saltzman, plans, strategy and policy directorate (J5) administrative specialist, was named the Junior Service Member of the Quarter.
“During the board, the service member must demonstrate basic performance skills associated with any service, as a panel consisting of the Command Senior Enlisted Leader, senior enlisted leaders from each service and a reserve component senior enlisted leader asks them questions from different military topics,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin L. Hill, U.S. Central Command’s Senior Enlisted Advisor. “The questions range from general military knowledge and basic combat skills, to questions about the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the CENTCOM mission.”
Hill went on to explain the importance of confidence during the board.
“We’re looking for someone who is confident, not arrogant, and displays good military bearing,” said Hill, a Memphis, Tenn. native. “Confidence is built through knowledge, so the better prepared and knowledgeable you are, then the more confident you will be, and it will show.”
In preparation for this board, Smith, a Utica, N.Y. native, studied various military subjects for more than a month to ensure he knew the material.
“I also participated in a directorate selection board prior to the CENTCOM board to prepare myself for the real thing,” Smith added.
Saltzman, who competed for Junior Service Member of the Quarter last year, decided to step up his game this year by practicing mock boards in order to better prepare himself for the board.
“What made me most competitive, I believe, were the mock boards my Staff NCO’s held for me,” said Saltzman, a Miami, Fla. native. “They all took time out of their day to help prepare and motivate me, and without them, I don’t believe I would have won.”
The Junior and Senior Service Member of the Quarter awardees will now compete against the other Service Members of the Quarter for the opportunity to claim the Junior and Senior Service Member of the Year title in January.
“I’m proud more than anything. I had a lot of people from my directorate counting on me to win. So it was nice to get the opportunity to represent CENTCOM’s J5 in such a positive way,” said Saltzman. “Right now my goal is to win the Service Member of the Year board and try to do more volunteer work in the community.”
Saltzman said some things he will work on to prepare him for the annual board is improve his presentation, posture and command voice, as well as complete various community service hours to distinguish himself from his peers.
“The competition for Service Member of the Year board is a little more intense, since all of the competitors are also Service Members of the Quarter,” said Hill. “The stakes are a lot higher and the awards are much greater.”
The Service Member of the Year winner will not only claim the prestigious title, but also be awarded the Joint Service Achievement Medal for their accomplishment.
“I’ve always felt that service members at CENTCOM come here as the cream of the crop from their services,” Hill added. “Leaving CENTCOM as the Service Member of the Year sends a message that they did not rest while they were here, but did something to separate them from the rest of the pack.”