JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WASH –"Life is a competition, not with others, but with ourselves. We should seek each day to live stronger, better, truer lives; each day to master some weakness of yesterday; each day to repair a mistake; each day to surpass ourselves." ~ David B. Haight.
Spc. Monique Edwin, the sponsorship desk clerk for the Installation Reception Center (IRC) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Washington, challenged herself to become better than she was by competing in the Soldier of the Quarter board for I Corps Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion (HHBn). Spc. Edwin prepared for three weeks to attend the board by employing her senior non-commissioned officers (NCO) for mock boards and her command staff for recommendations.
“I studied for the board for 3 weeks,” said Edwin. “I think the hardest part about becoming Soldier of the Quarter was preparing because I was getting in my head from all the nerves from having to sit in front of senior NCOs and my command sergeant major.”
Edwin was recognized by her unit for her work ethic and professionalism and was recommended to go against other high achieving Soldiers to compete for Soldier of the Quarter.
“The best thing about Spc. Edwin is her work ethic,” said Sgt Danise Salinas, an NCO for the JBLM Reception Center. “She is a great worker and she needs minimal guidance.”
The traditional Soldier of the Quarter board is held at the battalion level and is designed to recognize, showcase, and determine one outstanding Soldier that has made a positive impact on their unit. The board members consisted of first sergeants from each company and the president of the board is the battalion command sergeant major. Companies send one junior Soldier each quarter that the company command team feels best represents them. The selected Soldier will be questioned on their Army knowledge and evaluated on their work. For the JBLM Installation Reception Center, the command team sent Spc. Edwin.
“She is a true leader,” said 1st Sgt Nick Sleister, the JBLM Installation Reception Center 1st Sgt. “She operates well above her pay grade and is not afraid of a challenge. She is the epitome of professionalism.”
Spc. Edwin also won the I Corps, HHBn, Soldier of the Quarter for the 4th quarter and was lionized by her unit for all her hard work.
“I do believe that she deserves Soldier of the Quarter," said Sgt Salinas. “She works so hard and is always on top of her stuff, she gets everything done, and completes every task above and beyond.”
When asked what changed since winning the board Spc. Edwin said, “ I gained confidence in myself and my knowledge.”
Spc. Edwin is using this new attained confidence to reach for future goals in her Army career.
“My next goal is to win Soldier of the Year,” she said.
With her unit behind her, Spc. Edwin will compete for I Corps Soldier of the Year in February 2024.
PHOTO: U.S. Army Spc. Monique Edwin, narrates patching ceremony in front of the Installation Reception Center (IRC) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Jan. 18, 2024. Conducting the narration of patching ceremonies is one of Spc. Edwin’s responsibilities as the IRC sponsorship desk’s clerk. (U.S. Army Spc. Kourtney Nunnery) (Pfc. Kourtney Nunnery)