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November 09, 2012

Armywide News

Armywide competition decides Best Warrior NCO, Soldier of the Year

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.
PHOTO: A Soldier pulls a simulated casualty to safety during the Army Best Warrior Competition. Photo by Staff Sgt. Joy Dulen
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 intense.

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