FORT CARSON, Colo. – “The Guard has fit really well into my lifestyle,” said Sgt. Ryan Teter, an Arvada, Colorado, native, and recent winner of the Colorado Army National Guard’s Best Warrior Competition, noncommissioned officer category, held at Fort Carson, Colo., April 11-14.
Teter, a support specialist for Support Company, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) said his success was foreshadowed when he attended a commemorative event at the age of 14 for World War II’s Company E, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne, the group known as “Band of Brothers.”
At the event, the regiment’s retired Army 1st Lt. Frederick “Moose” Heyliger presented young Teter jump wings, the 101st Parachute Badge.
“I was thinking, ‘This is pretty cool,’” Teter said. “I was young and blown away. At that point I knew I would become a paratrooper.”
The gift Teter received at the reunion led him to a military way of life, but he had other influences too, like his father, his supervisor and his fellow unit members.
“My father, taught me the value of goals,” said Teter, whose strong work ethic began at the early age of 16 in a print shop.
In the Army as a tank crewmember and support specialist, Teter’s unit and supervisor provided motivation and support to succeed personally and professionally.
“My motivation comes a lot from the unit I’m in,” he said. “A lot is expected and I try to live up to those expectations.”
Army National Guard Staff Sgt. James Allen, Teter’s direct supervisor with 5/19th SFG(A), said the two have trained and deployed to Iraq together.
“I can tell you his character is above reproach,” said Allen “He is what we would refer to as a Soldier’s Soldier. He’s a paratrooper and a true representation of a Soldier.”
Teter’s experiences training and competing as a Soldier go beyond the battlefield.
“I have gotten to go to Advanced Military Mountaineer Course and do some other things with the Guard that have helped me in my recreational pursuits and mountaineering, as well as skiing,” Teter said.
He is also earning his bachelor’s degree at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.
“Being a Soldier has helped in school as far as confidence and discipline go,” said Teter.
Perhaps whatever motivates Teter to voluntarily jump out of airplanes helps, too.
He says paratroopers are a little different – and maybe even a little crazy – but it is a type of crazy that has moved him toward his goals and a successful military career, thanks to the Band of Brothers.
“In my mind, I jump in honor of them,” he said. Teter took first place in the noncommissioned officer category of the Colorado National Guard’s Best Warrior competition, while Sgt. Benjamin Stocker (recently promoted), a CH-47 Chinook crew chief for Company B, 2nd Battalion, 135th General Support Aviation, took first place in the Soldier category at the state and regional levels.