FORT BELVOIR, Virginia – A Fort Knox, Kentucky soldier was recognized as Army Inspector General Noncommissioned Officer of the Year during the World Wide Inspector General Conference here April 11.
Sgt. 1st Class Brynn Newcomb, an assistant inspector general assigned to the U.S. Army Cadet Command, Fort Knox, Kentucky, was selected from six finalists for the award. Newcomb, an Army musician before assuming her new role as an IG in 2017, was motivated to push herself further in her new career.
“I hadn’t done something like this in a very long time, and I was excited for the challenge,” Newcomb said.
The six finalists took part in a two-day competition, which included an essay, the Army Physical Fitness Test, and a board to test each competitor’s military bearing and knowledge of the Inspector General system.
Lt. Gen. Leslie C. Smith, the 66th Inspector General, presented the Army Commendation Medal to Newcomb. Smith spoke highly of all six finalists.
“I think all of the competitors are winners and I am glad that I did not need to help select the winners. The noncommissioned officers showed us all what ‘Right Then Forward’ means with their prior preparation, dedication to the mission and execution of the events.”
Sgt. Maj. Christopher Gilpin, the Army inspector general sergeant major, said the competition was fierce.
“It was all within a few points across the board,” Gilpin said just before the winners were announced.
“The importance of the IG NCO of the Year is that it serves as a tangible and widely recognizable way of rewarding excellence among our non commissioned officers,” Gilpin said. “Throughout our Army we have various ways for our best NCOs to compete among themselves to determine the best in their particular field. Our assistant IGs are no exception and this competition does exactly that.”
Newcomb said the toughest part of the selection process was the board.
“It’s very nerve-wracking having five inspector general sergeants major look at you and scrutinize everything you do and say for those 25 to 30 minutes,” she said.
Sgt. 1st Class Amber LaRussa, assigned to the Arizona Army National Guard, and Sgt. 1st Class Williamena Dahn, assigned to U.S. Army Europe, were first and second runners up, respectively.