• Sgt. Jared Jackson, a property book noncommissioned officer in charge assigned to the 83rd Ordnance Battalion, plots a land navigation point during the United States Army Japan's Warrior Challenge Competition April 24th at Camp Hansen's Training Area 5. The Atlanta, Ga. native was one of 14 Soldiers from mainland Japan and Okinawa who competed to be named Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) and Soldier of the Year April 21st - 25th on Okinawa, Japan.

    Soldiers earn top honors as USARJ's best

    Sgt. Jared Jackson, a property book noncommissioned officer in charge assigned to the 83rd Ordnance Battalion, plots a land navigation point during the United States Army Japan's Warrior Challenge Competition April 24th at Camp Hansen's Training Area...

  • Command Sgt. Maj. Steven Payton, command sgt. maj. of United States Army Japan, gives advice to with Staff Sgt. Ian Munkascy, left, USARJ Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year and Spc. Mara E. Snowman, right, USARJ Soldier of the Year. Both will compete in the United States Army Pacific Warrior Challenge Competition in June in Hawaii.

    Soldiers earn top honors as USARJ's best

    Command Sgt. Maj. Steven Payton, command sgt. maj. of United States Army Japan, gives advice to with Staff Sgt. Ian Munkascy, left, USARJ Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year and Spc. Mara E. Snowman, right, USARJ Soldier of the Year. Both will...

  • Col. Sheila Bryant, commander of the 10th Regional Support Group, pins the Army Commendation Medal on Spc. Mara E. Snowman, an euphonium player assigned to United States Army Japan Band, during the Warrior Challenge Competition closing ceremony April 25th at Torii Station's Training Support Center. Snowman, a Cleveland, Tenn. native was selected as USARJ's Soldier of the Year.

    Soldiers earn top honors as USARJ's best

    Col. Sheila Bryant, commander of the 10th Regional Support Group, pins the Army Commendation Medal on Spc. Mara E. Snowman, an euphonium player assigned to United States Army Japan Band, during the Warrior Challenge Competition closing ceremony April...

  • Command Sgt. Maj. Steven Payton, left, command sgt. maj. for United States Army Japan, coaches and provides feedback to Spc. Samantha R. Lanning, right, a human resources specialist assigned to 505th Quartermaster Battalion, during USARJ's Warrior Challenge Competition weapons zeroing April 23rd at Camp Hansen's Range 17.

    Soldiers earn top honors as USARJ's best

    Command Sgt. Maj. Steven Payton, left, command sgt. maj. for United States Army Japan, coaches and provides feedback to Spc. Samantha R. Lanning, right, a human resources specialist assigned to 505th Quartermaster Battalion, during USARJ's Warrior...

  • A United States Army Japan Soldier competing in USARJ's Warrior Challenge Competition plots a land navigation point during urban orienteering at Kadena Air Base, Japan. 14 Soldiers from mainland and Okinawa competed to be named USARJ's Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) and Soldier of the Year.

    Soldiers earn top honors as USARJ's best

    A United States Army Japan Soldier competing in USARJ's Warrior Challenge Competition plots a land navigation point during urban orienteering at Kadena Air Base, Japan. 14 Soldiers from mainland and Okinawa competed to be named USARJ's Noncommissioned...

  • Sgt. Andrew Majors, a military police officer assigned to the 247th Military Police Company, stretches for one final push-up as Staff Sgt. Carlos Pagan, an APFT grader assigned to HHC 10th Regional Support Group, looks on. 
Majors, an Arcadia, Ind. native, was one of 14 Soldiers from mainland Japan and Okinawa who competed to be named United States Army Japan's top Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) and Soldier of the Year April 22nd " 25th on Okinawa, Japan.

    Soldiers earn top honors as USARJ's best

    Sgt. Andrew Majors, a military police officer assigned to the 247th Military Police Company, stretches for one final push-up as Staff Sgt. Carlos Pagan, an APFT grader assigned to HHC 10th Regional Support Group, looks on. Majors, an Arcadia, Ind...

  • Sgt. Avery Cody, a bass player assigned to the United States Army Japan Band, demonstrates a combatives technique during USARJ's Warrior Challenge Competition April 23rd at Torii Station's Fitness Center field. 14 Soldiers from mainland Japan and Okinawa competed to be named USARJ's Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) and Soldier of the Year April 22nd - 25th on Okinawa, Japan.

    Soldiers earn top honors as USARJ's best

    Sgt. Avery Cody, a bass player assigned to the United States Army Japan Band, demonstrates a combatives technique during USARJ's Warrior Challenge Competition April 23rd at Torii Station's Fitness Center field. 14 Soldiers from mainland Japan and...

  • Sgt. Jared Jackson, a property book noncommissioned officer in charge assigned to the 83rd Ordnance Battalion, explains and demonstrates a combatives technique to Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Adams, an Army Combatives Instructor and grader for the 10th Regional Support Group, during USARJ's Warrior Challenge Competition April 23rd at Torii Station's Fitness Center field.

    Soldiers earn top honors as USARJ's best

    Sgt. Jared Jackson, a property book noncommissioned officer in charge assigned to the 83rd Ordnance Battalion, explains and demonstrates a combatives technique to Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Adams, an Army Combatives Instructor and grader for the 10th...

OKINAWA, Japan -- Fourteen Soldiers from mainland Japan and Okinawa displayed their warrior skills and talents to see who would be named United States Army Japan's Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year during USARJ's Warrior Challenge competition held here April 22 through 25.

The competition allowed competing Soldiers to display their warrior spirit, said Command Sgt. Maj. Steven L. Payton, USARJ command sergeant major.

"The energy for a competition of this magnitude definitely brings out the best in every Soldier," said Payton. "The esprit de corps and the sharing of knowledge exuded in a competition like this by our Soldiers speaks volumes to who they are and they truly represent the 'Ichidan,' or 'One Team,' spirit, as a member of a team of great Solders in our formations across Japan."

During the four-day competition, the Soldiers tested both their physical and mental stamina to conquer events like urban orienteering, day and night land navigation, warrior tasks, weapons qualification with reflexive firing, and a physical fitness test.

In addition to attending a board, competing Soldiers had to take a written exam that included writing and an essay. The event was meant to test each Soldier's mental and physical stability and endurance during the competition.

At the end of the competition only two Soldiers were chosen as USARJ's best NCO and Soldier of the Year. Staff Sgt. Ian T. Munkacsy, an operations NCO assigned to USARJ's Special Troops Battalion, was selected as the NCO of the Year, and Spc. Mara E. Snowman, assigned to the USARJ Band, was selected as Soldier of Year.

For Snowman, the competition proved to be rewarding yet bittersweet for the Cleveland, Tenn., native, she said. On day two of the competition she received notice of the passing of her grandmother.

"It was really hard, but I let it motivate me to work harder." said Snowman. "I know she would have wanted me to compete and give my best effort."

Both Munkacsy and Snowman will represent USARJ during the United States Army Pacific's Warrior Challenge Competition in mid-June.

Page last updated Mon April 29th, 2013 at 20:49