• July 28, 2014

Top Fort Hood soldiers driven to succeed

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Posted: Wednesday, September 2, 2009 12:00 pm

By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Fort Hood Herald

Spc. Sherrod Sloan has a baby on the way and a new car will help his new family.

Sloan was recently named Fort Hood's soldier of the year and one of the many prizes he and the post's noncommissioned officer of the year, Staff Sgt. Peter Sutherland, won was the use of two new cars from Automax for a year.

Sloan and his wife, Spc. Jessica Sloan, chose a 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander and Sutherland and his wife, Jenni, chose a 2009 Suzuki SX4 Crossover.

Sutherland and his wife, his high school sweetheart, have been married 15 years. They have two sons.

Sutherland is an intelligence operations noncommissioned officer in Headquarters Company, 21st Combat Support Hospital, 13th Sustainment Command.

He enlisted in the Army in July 2002 as a combat medic. He later completed Occupational Therapist Assistant School at Fort Sam Houston.

An Army brat who calls Washington state home, Sutherland arrived at Fort Hood in 2007. He has deployed once and is set to leave again in January.

Sutherland entered the noncommissioned officer of the year competition at the company level and worked his way up to post level. He did it to show his soldiers the benefit of awards and competitions.

Sutherland left the world of investment banking for the military after Sept. 11, 2001. He couldn't forget the images he saw on TV and enlisted nine months later. He father was an engineer and retired after 20 years of service. His family's first reaction when he enlisted: "Why didn't you do it sooner?"

Sloan, 21, is also from an Army family. His dad served for 10 years and his mother retired after 20 years as a linguist. They live in San Antonio.

Sloan is a 21-year-old soldier in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment's Nomad Troop, 4th Squadron.

He joined the Army's Delayed Entry Program at 17 and was appointed student squad leader during basic training and Advanced Individual Training. He was granted a waiver for his promotion to specialist after arriving in the squadron's Tomahawk Troop. He completed the E-5 promotion board in December 2008, earning the 150 maximum. He attended the Warrior Leaders Course shortly after returning from Iraq earlier this year, and was placed on the Commandant's List.

His first child, a son to be named Broderick Allen, is due on Halloween. Jessica and Sherrod met while the regiment was at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. He is a helicopter mechanic and she was a supply soldier. He needed some parts and the two started talking. They spent almost every day together after their first date before deploying to Iraq.

It is important for Sloan to be a role model for his younger brother and that carries over to his military career. He tries to lead his peers and get them to do the best they can, he said.

Competing for soldier of the year was a good learning experience because he met soldiers from other posts, got to participate in tactical training he normally wouldn't as a mechanic and he met Command Sgt. Maj. Neil Ciotola, the top enlisted soldier for III Corps and Fort Hood.

"I've been trying to learn as much as I can from him," Sloan said.

He said that Ciotola was his biggest role model now and he wants to "absorb his character."

Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at astair@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7547.

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