The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

July 31, 2013

Army competition switches to video for interviews

(Continued)

Among other things, the competition includes a physical fitness test, land navigation, a written exam and a 12-mile march. With a soldier of the year and non-commissioned officer of the year being named Thursday, several contestants were only a few points apart and the live interviews were going to determine the winner. Four interviewers — including Taylor — planned to question and score each soldier Wednesday. The questions can range from Army doctrines and mottos to the U.S. Constitution.

"The top contenders, those scores are pretty close. So it's going to come down to who has the most knowledge," Taylor said. "This can go either way."

A final dress rehearsal using the technology took place Tuesday just hours before two days of interviews with soldiers on 11 bases around the U.S. were set to begin.

The limitations of relying on technology to make small distinctions quickly became evident. The video quality on the large screens broadcasting from each base was a little fuzzy. While soldiers could easily be made out, their facial expressions could not. Audio on some bases was clearer than others. It was not clear if the high-pressure atmosphere of sitting just a few feet away from senior Army leaders could truly be duplicated.

"Would it be better to have them here in person? I really do believe that it would be. But we couldn't afford to do that, so this is the next best thing," Taylor said.

Army officials said it was difficult to pinpoint the savings from doing the competition remotely. In part, that's because travel costs vary depending on which bases soldiers come from each year. But the soldiers typically travel with their immediate supervisors and have their meals and lodging paid for by the Army.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee