The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) recently announced the inception of the 2020 Paralegal of the Year competition.
The competition consists of four quarterly competition boards and one paralegal of the year competition to take place in fall 2020.
Paralegal specialists ranging from private to master sergeant from across the 101st Abn. Div. competed against each other in the first quarter competition. The competition included two boards — one for junior enlisted, and one for senior enlisted Soldiers — which offers paralegal specialists a fair and healthy competition.
Private First Class Damar Richmond, a paralegal specialist assigned to 716th Military Police Battalion, 101st Abn. Div. Sustainment Brigade, won the first quarter for junior enlisted Soldiers.
This was the first competition board Richmond has attended.
“It definitely sets you apart from your peers and highlights you,” he said. “It will definitely be noticed at the regimental level.”
Now that Richardson won the first quarterly competition board, surpassing peers and Soldiers of higher ranks, he must prepare for the paralegal of the year competition board going up against three other paralegal specialists who will win the upcoming paralegal of the quarter competition boards.
The paralegal of the year competition includes testing areas in physical readiness, weapons readiness and a test of knowledge of paralegal Army Regulations.
Richmond plans to increase his physical readiness test score to the maximum of 300 points by spending extra time after duty hours training at the gym. He also has a goal to achieve an expert score with his M4 carbine rifle by attending weapons training courses. These preparations will enable Richmond to stand out from the other competitors.
“A prepared person will always be a smart person every day of the week and twice on a Sunday,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how smart you are or how good you may think you are, if you’re unprepared you always fail.”
Sergeant First Class Jeremiah Hix, 716th MP Batt., 101st Abn. Div. Sust. Bde., is Richmond’s first line leader and has worked with him since they both arrived at Fort Campbell the beginning of the year.
“Being a leader, he requires very minimal oversight,” Hix said. “I can give him a task and walk away and not have to worry about it, I know he gets it done.”
Hix prepared Richmond by conducting multiple mock boards, weekly paralegal and Soldier training, and challenging him to recite the Soldier’s Creed, the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer and the Screaming Eagles song.
“He is very zealous at work and enthusiastic,” Hix said. “He always goes above and beyond. He is always willing to take on any task handed to him, even if its above his competence level he will gladly take it on and figure it out.”
Richmond presents professionalism above his peers and controls his military bearing when communicating to the Lifeliner command team. This is something his position requires often and this experience prepared him for communicating and answering questions asked by the high-ranking individuals that compromise the board members.
“I didn’t win this board because I’m the best paralegal,” Richmond said. “I won because I was the most committed.”