ARL Soldier announced as RDECOM Soldier of the Year

April 11, 2011

Story Highlights

  • ARL Soldier is named U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Soldier of the Year.
  • Spc. Bernard Quackenbush competed in the week-long competition at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
  • Competition involves a physical fitness test, road march, navigation course, obstacle course and other grueling tasks to challenge every Soldier who competes for the top honor.

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command announced its top noncommissioned officer and Soldier for the year April 1 during a ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

Spc. Bernard Quackenbush, an avionics and survivability repair technician from the Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., took top honors with his selection as the Soldier of the Year.

Quackenbush is a 23-year-old former Stryker Soldier who deployed to Iraq with 1st Battalion, 25th Stryker Brigade from Fort Wainwright, Alaska, his first duty station.

Quackenbush is a sturdy 6-foot, 5-inch Soldier from Michigan's Shelby Township, just north of Detroit. He set the pace for the 12-mile road march with full rucksack, and was a strong performer in all areas of the competition.

Married with a 2-year-old daughter, Quackenbush said he plans to continue working on his college degree.

The week-long competition began with an Army Physical Fitness Test in the early hours of March 28, and concluded with each candidate facing an interview board of command senior NCOs. In between were some grueling challenges, including the 12-mile road march with full rucksack, a land navigation course, an obstacle course, weapons qualification, and test on a number of Warrior skills in situational training scenarios.

Quackenbush will now advance to the U.S. Army Materiel Command Soldier of the Year competition at a date and location to be determined.


Last Update / Reviewed: April 11, 2011