|By Terrance Bell, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lee, Va.
FORT LEE, Va. — The 2012 iteration of the Army’s premier Soldier skills
competition concluded a busy four-day schedule in late October that
featured a mix of routine Soldier tasks along with a plethora of
tactical challenges the event has cultivated over the past five years.
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Rios, a Regional Training Center East
Instructor assigned to the 78th Training Division, 84th Training
Command, pulls a simulated casualty to safety during the Army
Best Warrior Competition.
(Photo by Staff Sgt. Joy Dulen)
The event, officially called the Department of the Army Soldier and
Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year Best Warrior Competition, or
Best Warrior for short, brought together 12 NCOs and 12 junior Soldiers
from the Army’s major commands to demonstrate their proficiencies in
skills critical to the success of every Soldier.
This year, Staff Sgt. Matthew Senna won the NCO portion of the event and
was named the Army’s 2012 Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. Spc.
Saral Shrestha was selected the Soldier of the Year. Senna is an
infantryman assigned to Company B, 7th Army NCO Academy in Germany.
Shrestha is a power generation equipment repairer with Group Service
Support Company, Group Support Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, U.S.
Army Special Forces Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Best Warrior events include the Army Physical Fitness, a board
appearance, land navigation and a number of tasks deemed essential for
survival on the battlefield, such as evaluate a casualty, stress fire
and weapons marksmanship.
Fort Lee has hosted the event nine of the 11 years it has been held.
Command Sgt. Maj. James K. Sims, acting command sergeant major, Combined
Arms Support Command, and the installation’s ranking Best Warrior
official, said the post always looks forward to the competition.
The Sergeant Major of the Army oversees Best Warrior. In his second year
as the noncommissioned officer in charge, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond
F. Chandler III directed a number of changes intended to strengthen the
event. First, it was shortened from five to four days. Secondly, the
traditional order of events were rearranged in an effort to make it more