By Tom Law
The Toccoa Record
Those are just some of the words used to describe Army Spec. Isaac Swilling, the son of Toccoa native Ken Swilling who now lives in the greater Atlanta area.
The younger Swilling serves in the 398th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Task Force Talon of the U.S. Army. He’s assigned to Echo Batter, 3rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).
He is currently stationed on Guam in the Pacific Ocean and his speciality is a petroleum supply specialist.
But, he’s most widely known for his competitive success.
In the past 12 months, Isaac Swilling has competed in three USAR-J boards and a Soldier of the Year competition.
He’s won all four.
The boards consist of a soldier appearing before a board of noncommissioned officers and being evaluated on a number of items pertaining to good soldiering from uniform dress to how he/she handles the evaluation.
Swilling’s most recent success came in the soldier of the year competition held at Sagami General Depot in Sagamhara, Japan.
He was one of nine soldiers and non-commissioned officers who competed in a grueling test of their physical and mental abilities.
The competition’s events included a height and weight assessment, an Army physical fitness test, a drill and ceremony competition, timed disassembling, reassembling and function checks of the M-4 carbine rifle, M-9 pistol and M-249 light machine gun.
Also, virtual M-4 marksmanship tests on the Engagement Skills Trainer, a 12-mile ruck march with a three-hour time limit, single channel ground and airborne radio system programming proficiency assessment, a written test and a formal board of review before Sgt. Maj. George Rupprecht, brigade air defense sergeant major and other senior NCOs.
Swilling received an Impact Army Achievement Medal for winning the competition.
“If you are a leader, encourage your folks to pursue what these soldiers have pursued,” brigade deputy commander Lt. Col. James L. Crenshaw said during the competition’s closing ceremony. “I was very impressed with the many challenging events this group of fine soldiers have conquered.
The competitions are undertaken to foster esprit de corps and camaraderie among members of the 38th Air Defense Brigade.
By Tom Law