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News from the Oklahoma National Guard

NEWS | Feb. 15, 2024

Oklahoma Guard conducts annual Mechanic of the Year competition

By Cpl. Danielle Rayon Oklahoma National Guard


Maintenance usually happens down in the motor pool or out on the side of the road where there’s not a lot of leadership or spotlight. So this gives us an opportunity to put our guys on the front row and shine a light on them.Chief Warrant Officer 4 Rocky Anderson, president of the Mechanic of the Year board

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen gathered to test their mechanical skills at the third annual Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024.

The individual winner for this year’s competition was Sgt. Daniel Jones, who represented the Unit Training Equipment Site out of Camp Gruber Training Center. The winning team, representing the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site out of Ft. Sill, consisted of Staff Sgt. Brandon Burns, Sgt. Kyle Ehrenberg, Sgt. Jasser Reyes and Spc. Patrick Woody. The five winners will compete at the national level in Utah later this year.


“The team that we pick here represents Oklahoma in the national competition and so far, we’ve fared very well,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Rocky Anderson, president of the Mechanic of the Year board. “We’ve won the last two years.”

01:36
VIDEO | 01:36 | Oklahoma Guard conducts annual Mechanic of the Year competition


Ten teams made up of four mechanics each represented maintenance shops from around the state, putting their professional skills to the test and connecting with fellow competitors.

“We’re really trying to drive that friendly competition,” Anderson said.

The competition consisted of ten stations that challenged the teams on several aspects of the mechanical maintenance profession, including measuring, inspection, electrical circuits, vehicle recovery, drilling and a written test. The team and individual who earned the most points throughout the competition was declared the winner.

The competition not only fosters communication and esprit de corps among competitors, but allows leaders to recognize the mechanics for their skills and contributions.

“Maintenance usually happens down in the motor pool or out on the side of the road where there’s not a lot of leadership or spotlight,” Anderson said. “So this gives us an opportunity to put our guys on the front row and shine a light on them.”

Oklahoma Army National Guardsman Sgt. 1st Class Cody Swearengin, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to Bravo Company, 700th Brigade Support Battalion, 45th IBCT, takes on a mechanical challenge during the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. The Guardsmen gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, working in four-man teams to beat out the competition while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240207-A-IN656-9830 Oklahoma Army National Guardsman Sgt. 1st Class Cody Swearengin, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to Bravo Company, 700th Brigade Support Battalion, 45th IBCT, takes on a mechanical challenge during the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. The Guardsmen gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, working in four-man teams to beat out the competition while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
(From left to right) Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen Sgt. Kyle Ehrenberg, a rocket system crewmember assigned to the 1st Battalion, 158th Field Artillery Regiment, 45th Field Artillery Brigade, Spc. Jasser Reyes, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to the 120th Forward Support Company, 45th FAB, and Staff Sgt. Brandon Burns, a motor transport operator assigned to the 120th FSC, 45th FAB, read instructions together during the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. The Guardsmen gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, working in four-man teams to beat out the competition while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240207-A-IN656-7642 (From left to right) Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen Sgt. Kyle Ehrenberg, a rocket system crewmember assigned to the 1st Battalion, 158th Field Artillery Regiment, 45th Field Artillery Brigade, Spc. Jasser Reyes, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to the 120th Forward Support Company, 45th FAB, and Staff Sgt. Brandon Burns, a motor transport operator assigned to the 120th FSC, 45th FAB, read instructions together during the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. The Guardsmen gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, working in four-man teams to beat out the competition while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
(From left to right) Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Rose, an ammunition specialist assigned to Headquarters Company, 700th Brigade Support Battalion, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Sgt. Daniel Jones, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to Golf Company, 700th Brigade Support Battalion, 45th IBCT, and Sgt. Adrian Maddox, an automated logistical specialist assigned to 2120th Engineer Support Company, 120th Engineer Battalion, 90th Troop Command, take a written exam during the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. The Guardsmen gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, working in four-man teams to beat out the competition while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240207-A-IN656-7340 (From left to right) Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Rose, an ammunition specialist assigned to Headquarters Company, 700th Brigade Support Battalion, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Sgt. Daniel Jones, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to Golf Company, 700th Brigade Support Battalion, 45th IBCT, and Sgt. Adrian Maddox, an automated logistical specialist assigned to 2120th Engineer Support Company, 120th Engineer Battalion, 90th Troop Command, take a written exam during the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. The Guardsmen gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, working in four-man teams to beat out the competition while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen use a drill while competing in the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. The Guardsmen gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, working in four-man teams to beat out the competition while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240207-A-IN656-7332 Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen use a drill while competing in the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. The Guardsmen gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, working in four-man teams to beat out the competition while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
Oklahoma Army National Guard Spc. Jasser Reyes, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to the 120th Forward Support Company, 45th Field Artillery Brigade, inspects a humvee during the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. The Guardsmen gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, working in four-man teams to beat out the competition while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240207-A-IN656-6906 Oklahoma Army National Guard Spc. Jasser Reyes, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to the 120th Forward Support Company, 45th Field Artillery Brigade, inspects a humvee during the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. The Guardsmen gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, working in four-man teams to beat out the competition while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
Oklahoma Army National Guard Spc. Jasser Reyes, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to the 120th Forward Support Company, 45th Field Artillery Brigade, inspects a Humvee during the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. The Guardsmen gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, working in four-man teams to beat out the competition while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240207-A-IN656-6653 Oklahoma Army National Guard Spc. Jasser Reyes, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to the 120th Forward Support Company, 45th Field Artillery Brigade, inspects a Humvee during the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. The Guardsmen gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, working in four-man teams to beat out the competition while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)


Not only has Oklahoma performed well at the national competitions, but the state-level competition has grown dramatically over the last several years. This year saw almost triple the amount of teams as the first year, as well as the addition of a traditional guardsmen competition.

“Units are going to be able to send a four-man team and they’ll take the same written test,” Anderson said. “So you’ll have a full-time Field Maintenance Shop that has bragging rights for the state and a unit that has bragging rights for the state.”

Spc. Shawnda Preast, Spc. Demitri Southerland, Sgt. Hope York and Sgt. Samuel Smith, all members of the 345th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 90th Troop Command, took first place overall team in the traditional guardsmen competition held on Feb. 10.


2024 Mechanic of the Year Competition Results:

Mechanic of the Year
Sgt. Daniel Jones - Unit Training Equipment Site

Oklahoma Army National Guardsman Sgt. Daniel Jones, a wheeled vehicle mechanic representing the Unit Training Equipment Site out of Camp Gruber Training Center, poses with his award after winning the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. Jones won the title of individual Mechanic of the Year, after ten teams gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. Joe Pena)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240207-A-IN656-9820 Oklahoma Army National Guardsman Sgt. Daniel Jones, a wheeled vehicle mechanic representing the Unit Training Equipment Site out of Camp Gruber Training Center, poses with his award after winning the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. Jones won the title of individual Mechanic of the Year, after ten teams gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. Joe Pena)
Oklahoma Army National Guardsman Sgt. Daniel Jones, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to Golf Company, 700th Brigade Support Battalion, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, takes on a mechanical challenge during the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. Jones won the title of individual Mechanic of the Year, after ten teams gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, working to beat out the competition while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240207-A-IN656-5426 Oklahoma Army National Guardsman Sgt. Daniel Jones, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to Golf Company, 700th Brigade Support Battalion, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, takes on a mechanical challenge during the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. Jones won the title of individual Mechanic of the Year, after ten teams gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, working to beat out the competition while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)



First Place Team - Full-Time
Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site
Staff Sgt. Brandon Burns
Sgt. Kyle Ehrenberg
Sgt. Jasser Reyes
Spc. Patrick Woody.
(From left to right) Oklahoma Army National Guardsman Staff Sgt. Brandon Burns, Spc. Patrick Woody, Spc. Jasser Reyes, and Sgt. Kyle Ehrenberg, a mechanic team representing the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site out of Ft. Sill, pose with their award after winning First Overall Team at the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. The team won the title of Mechanic of the Year, after ten teams gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. Joe Pena)
(From left to right) Oklahoma Army National Guardsman Staff Sgt. Brandon Burns, Spc. Patrick Woody, Spc. Jasser Reyes, and Sgt. Kyle Ehrenberg, a mechanic team representing the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site out of Ft. Sill, pose with their award after winning First Overall Team at the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. The team won the title of Mechanic of the Year, after ten teams gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. Joe Pena)
(From left to right) Oklahoma Army National Guardsman Staff Sgt. Brandon Burns, Spc. Patrick Woody, Spc. Jasser Reyes, and Sgt. Kyle Ehrenberg, a mechanic team representing the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site out of Ft. Sill, pose with their award after winning First Overall Team at the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. The team won the title of Mechanic of the Year, after ten teams gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. Joe Pena)
240207-A-IN656-8306
(From left to right) Oklahoma Army National Guardsman Staff Sgt. Brandon Burns, Spc. Patrick Woody, Spc. Jasser Reyes, and Sgt. Kyle Ehrenberg, a mechanic team representing the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site out of Ft. Sill, pose with their award after winning First Overall Team at the Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. The team won the title of Mechanic of the Year, after ten teams gathered to put their mechanic skills to the test in the third annual competition, while also getting to network amongst fellow competitors. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. Joe Pena)
Photo By: Spc. Danielle Rayon
VIRIN: 240207-A-IN656-8306



First Place Team - Traditional Guardsmen
345th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion
Sgt. Hope York
Spc. Shawnda Preast
Spc. Demitri Southerland
Sgt. Samuel Smith
(From left to right) Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen Spc. Shawnda Preast, Sgt. Hope York, Spc. Demitri Southerland and Sgt. Samuel Smith, a mechanic team representing the 345th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 90th Troop Command, pose with their award after winning first overall team in the traditional Guardsmen category at the third annual Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 10, 2024. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
(From left to right) Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen Spc. Shawnda Preast, Sgt. Hope York, Spc. Demitri Southerland and Sgt. Samuel Smith, a mechanic team representing the 345th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 90th Troop Command, pose with their award after winning first overall team in the traditional Guardsmen category at the third annual Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 10, 2024. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
(From left to right) Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen Spc. Shawnda Preast, Sgt. Hope York, Spc. Demitri Southerland and Sgt. Samuel Smith, a mechanic team representing the 345th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 90th Troop Command, pose with their award after winning first overall team in the traditional Guardsmen category at the third annual Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 10, 2024. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
240211-A-IN656-2475
(From left to right) Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen Spc. Shawnda Preast, Sgt. Hope York, Spc. Demitri Southerland and Sgt. Samuel Smith, a mechanic team representing the 345th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 90th Troop Command, pose with their award after winning first overall team in the traditional Guardsmen category at the third annual Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 10, 2024. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
Photo By: Spc. Danielle Rayon
VIRIN: 240211-A-IN656-2475


Second Place Team - Traditional Guardsmen
Hotel Company, 700th Brigade Support Battalion
Staff Sgt. Alexander Cowns
Sgt. Corbin Baumfalk
Pfc. Chase Johnson
Spc. Carrigan Mills

Third Place Team - Traditional Guardsmen
Staff Sgt. Shawn Pierce, 271st Brigade Support Battalion
Fox Company, 700th Brigade Support Battalion
Sgt. Frank Sands
Pfc. Christian Brown
Spc. Michael Graves

Video by Staff Sgt. Reece Heck
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