Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
Maj. Evan Roderick is the recipient of the General George S. Patton Jr. Distinguished Master Tactician Award for the Command and General Staff Officer Course class of 2020.
“I wanted to challenge myself, but also see where I stood among my peers in terms of my tactical knowledge and proficiency,” Roderick said. “It feels good to know that my experience and the mentorship of officers and (noncommissioned officers) in the past have paid off.”
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the normally three-phase competition, only included two phases.
The first phase, conducted in January, was a 200-question online exam that tested more than 200 competitors on their knowledge of U.S. Army tactics and doctrines.
The top 26 competitors moved onto the second phase, which included three tactical decision games.
“During the TDGs, the competitors were presented with complex and challenging tactical scenarios that forced them to rapidly develop creative and tactically sound plans,” said Lt. Col. Phil Hensel, Command and General Staff College Department of Army Tactics instructor.
Roderick said the second phase was the most difficult.
“The first round, you knew it or you didn’t know it,” Roderick said. “The second round was harder because you had to prioritize your time and figure out and conceptualize how you were going to solve the problem.
“It was a good test of how quickly we could come up with an effective plan, which is really useful because obviously in a combat or deployed environment, you have very limited time to figure out how to best array your forces and execute a mission,” he said.
The top five performing competitors were named Master Tacticians, and, as the winner of phase two, Roderick was named recipient of the overall award.
“Major Roderick’s performance was truly remarkable,” Hensel said. “He embodies the Department of Army Tactics’ goal of developing tactical excellence in all CGSC students to prepare them to play key roles in the operational Army.”
Roderick said he has appreciated his time in CGSOC.
“The best experience is working in a staff group with people that have all different types of military experience. Not just learning from them, but learning how to work with them,” Roderick said. “It is really easy from a combat arms perspective to only learn as a combat arms officer, so working with people from all different backgrounds and figuring out how to be both a peer leader but also a peer follower is probably the most rewarding experience of CGSC for me.”
Roderick will attend the School of Advanced Military Studies this fall.