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Survival of the fittest

28th Public Affairs Detachment

Published: 11:34AM January 28th, 2016
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“I’ll admit sometimes, if they are doing better than me at a physical portion, it sucks. But then I think that I am the smallest one here and I can keep up with the guys. Then I’m like ‘Oh yeah!’”

Spc. Erin Sheasgreen

42nd Military Police Brigade

Soldiers throughout the 42nd Military Police Brigade competed against one another for the chance to be named the “The Protectors” Soldier, Noncommissioned Officer or Officer of the Quarter on Joint Base Lewis-McChord Jan. 19-22.

Over the four days, the Soldiers faced various challenges ranging from a written essay to a 12-mile ruck march in an attempt to test their dexterity, strengths and knowledge of Army specific events and topics.

Of those participating in the competition, one Soldier stood out among the rest — Spc. Erin Sheasgreen, the only female competitor.

“I think I did a pretty good job at keeping up with the boys,” Sheasgreen, said, a test, measurement, and diagnostic equipment maintenance support specialist assigned to 542nd Support Maintenance Company, 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 42nd MP Bde. “Obviously there are some things that they are stronger at, but I still kept up with them. So I wouldn’t say I had a disadvantage.”

Each day of the competition required Soldiers to compete in multiple events, with the bulk of the physical challenges being done on the second day.

“Day two was the hardest, it was exhausting because you need so much endurance and strength to get through all of the walking, and the ruck march is really tough,” Sheasgreen said. “But I just wanted to prove to myself that I could get through it and obviously I wanted to win.”

The Soldiers did not have to face this challenge alone as each had a sponsor who was there for support and to add motivation, and Sheasgreen was accompanied by Sgt. John Figueroa, test, measurement, and diagnostic equipment sergeant and squad leader with the 542nd SM Co.

“I feel great about Sheasgreen,” Figueroa said. “She is the kind of Soldier I don’t even have to push; she does it on her own. That’s a self-sufficient Soldier right there.”

Sheasgreen went on to complete the competition, and the fact that her competitors were physically larger only provided her with more motivation to complete every event with confidence.

“I’ll admit, sometimes, if they are doing better than me at a physical portion, it sucks,” Sheasgreen said. “But then I think that I am the smallest one here and I can keep up with the guys. Then I’m like ‘Oh yeah!’”

The winners of the board will be announced soon, but until then many are beginning to form their own opinions on who will be walking off a winner.

“I believe she is going to be the winner of this board, for sure,” Figueroa said. “I mean, think about it; she kept up with all (of the) males doing a 12-mile ruck march in three hours and one minute. That’s is 18th Airborne Corps standard right there. That’s absolutely amazing.”