Do-it-all specialist named AMC Soldier of the Year
Stars and Stripes June 29, 2003
Spc. Angelina Ellis’ first experience with the Army was watching news coverage of soldiers cleaning up after a hurricane in the early 1990s. Ellis said she remembers thinking that a soldier’s job was to help people.
More than a dozen years later, the Puerto Rico native has become one of the Army’s top soldiers, serving as an allergy and immunization technician at the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity in Heidelberg, Germany.
She was recently selected as the Army Medical Command’s Soldier of the Year during a four-day competition at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
“I love being a soldier,” Ellis said. “I love helping people. That’s what attracted me [to the Army] the most.”
In addition to her medical duties, she serves on the command’s color guard and is a member of the family readiness group.
“I’ve never had another soldier as exceptional as she is,” said Sgt. 1st Class Carl Fears, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Heidelberg family practice clinic. “When an NCO has to step out, she steps up. She’ll sacrifice her needs to help other soldiers.”
He said she perfectly balances her medical and military responsibilities.
It has served her well. During the Medical Command competition, Ellis endured physical fitness tests, night and day land navigation courses, written tests and an oral board covering 30 military areas.
The winner was announced during a banquet June 1.
“My mind went blank,” she said upon hearing of her selection.
“I just tried to keep my military bearing.”
Ellis credits her success to the support she gets from her fellow soldiers.
She will travel to Washington, D.C., in September to compete in the Army-wide Soldier of the Year competition. There, she will face another test of her soldiering skills.
Ellis would not speculate on how she would fare, but Fears wasn’t as reserved.
“I can see her going as far as she wants,” he said. “Anything she wants, she can do.”
Army honors top reservists
A Wisconsin accounting student and a Massachusetts molecular biology researcher were recently selected as the U.S. Army Reserve Command 2003 Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year.
Spc. Tracy Oswald, the Soldier of the Year, is a light-wheel mechanic at Fort McCoy, Wis. The 19-year old Sparta, Wis., native is a student at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
Staff Sgt. Michael Liddell, the Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, is a pharmacy specialist with the 399th Combat Support Hospital in Cambridge, Mass.
Oswald and Liddell will represent the Army Reserve Command in the U.S. Army Forces Command competition in August.
— Stars and Stripes