A Soldier from 3rd Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment of 108th ADA Brigade took a first place victory during the XVIII Airborne Corps Equal Opportunity Leader of the Year competition Sept. 26.

Sgt. 1st Class Kelly Corbit, Headquarters, Battery D, 3rd Bn., 4th ADA platoon sergeant, won the  corps’ first official EOL competition while Staff Sgt. Craig Edgington, 1st Bn., 7th ADA, 108th ADA Bde. took second place.

Competitors were judged on situational scenarios and exercises in front of a panel of judges.

“This was not something that you could really prepare for. The competition was more focused towards putting you in circumstances and expressing what steps you would take to resolve those issues or see if you were aiding your commander with following the regulation,” said Corbit.

Master Sgt. Brady Jackson, 108th ADA Bde. equal opportunity advisor sponsored both Corbit and Edgington for the competition. “It was a close competition. I believe there was a one or two point difference separating the overall winner. We blew the competition out of the water and we’re doing pretty well in the equal opportunity arena,” said Jackson.

Although the competition was situational based, Jackson believes that his close interaction with Corbit and Edgington and EO involvement throughout the 108th ADA “Spartan” Bde. gave the competitors a better feel for what to expect going into the competition.

“It is awesome to get Soldiers out there and get recognition for doing well with the EO program,” said Jackson.

As the battery EOL, Corbit said he enjoys conducting training and coming up with new scenarios and more interactive, hands-on training. She believes that training can be more fun when conducted in discussion small groups.

With the vast range of backgrounds and experiences that Soldiers have, Corbit said she also enjoys coming together not only to train her peers and subordinates, but also to gain a better understanding of who they are; referring to the Army as a melting pot of various people and cultures.

“The only way that military programs can be effective is if everyone buys into them. I think that equal opportunity is and always will be an essential program. I am proud to be a part of the program because I think the Army leads the way as far as initiating change that society later tries to follow such as the integration of women in the armed forces,” said Corbit, adding that there are still challenges that the military faces and needs to continue to work towards equality.

Corbit is also the Sexual Assault Prevent and Response Program representative, unit prevention leader and recently the completed Master Resilience Training Program. “I’m like the additional duty girl,” she said.

After the completion of a deployment to Iraq with the 3rd Bn., 4th ADA Skystrikers, Corbit requested to attend the equal opportunity course in 2009 and has continued assumption of the EOL responsiblities ever since.

Corbit further explained that her motivation for pursuing the EOL position is due to her drive to use the Army to seek as many opportunities as possible for quality, professional development.

“The courses are an important responsibility and I feel it’s such a significant part of the Army which is another reason why I want to be involved,” she said.