"Optimizing Combat Casualty Care"
Sgt. Andrew J. Ludescher maneuvers through the obstacle course as part of the USAISR NCO/Soldier of the Year competition.

Sgt. Andrew J. Ludescher maneuvers through the obstacle course as part of the USAISR NCO/Soldier of the Year competition. Photo by Steven Galvan

Ludescher, Wendorff named NCO, Soldier of the Year

By Steven Galvan, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
03 MARCH 2014

The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) Non-commissioned Officer (NCO) and Soldier of the Year competition concluded Feb. 18 with the announcement of two Medical Laboratory Specialists as the 2013 USAISR NCO and Soldier of the Year.

Sgt. Andrew J. Ludescher, a native of St. Paul, Minn., is assigned to the Laboratory Support Division, was selected as the Non-commissioned Officer of the Year, and Spc. Daniel S. Wendorff, who hails from Columbus, Ohio, is assigned to the Damage Control Resuscitation Division, was selected as the Soldier of the Year.

Ludescher joined the Army in 2008 and has been at the USAISR for a year. Serving his country in the Army has been a life-long dream. One of the reasons that he believes he was selected for this honor is because of his drive to succeed.

“I work hard and lead by example,” he said. “I trained and study hard for this competition.”

That’s the same advice that he offers to anyone who would like to follow in his footsteps.

“It a great honor,” Ludescher said.

One of his short-term goals is to obtain a medical laboratory technician certificate and eventually attend physician’s assistant school.

The best thing that he likes about his job as a research support technician is working with the people in the laboratory and said that the most challenging thing about it was learning all of the sections. Wendorff, who has been at the Institute since November said that he enjoys the fact that he learns something new and interesting almost every day. He also said that joining the Army was a childhood dream.

“Being able to become a medical laboratory specialist was a great opportunity for me,” he said. Wendorff joined the Army almost two years ago and said that time management can be a big challenge for him.

“Also trying to balance the work I do in research with my responsibilities as a soldier,” he said.

He believes that his performance during the competition helped him be selected for this honor. “It’s a great honor to have been selected,“ said Wendorff.

The advice that Wendorff gives soldier who would like to earn his distinction is simple. “Start studying as early as possible and be ready to be physically and mentally exhausted by the time it is all over,” he said.

His next goal is to earn the Expert Field Medical Badge in the near future and to eventually attend medical school and become a doctor.

Ludescher and Wendorff will represent the USAISR at the upcoming MRMC Soldier and NCO of the Year competition in April.

USAISR Company 1st Sgt. Bradley Proud said he was extremely pleased to have these two Soldiers representing the Institute at this year’s headquarters competition. “They both have the drive, determination and leadership to succeed,” he said. “I feel confident that they will both do well and make us all proud.”