2008 Department of the Army NCO/Soldier of the Year Competition
The Department of the Army NCO/Soldier of the Year "Best Warrior" Competition is scheduled Sept. 28 - Oct. 3 at Fort Lee. Va.

Fort Lee, Va. (Sept. 23, 2008) -- It's that time of year again.

For the past six months, Team Lee - the U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lee and tenant units - have readied the stage for the annual Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year Best Warrior Competition.

Each year post Soldiers and employees become part of the massive support effort to host Best Warrior. That support includes everything from preparing ranges, mapping out events, shoring up equipment and handling a multitude of other logistical tasks to ensure that the Army's finest warriors are afforded the finest competition the Army can offer.

"The level of support that we've had from the installation has been tremendous," said Master Sgt. Derrick Williams, NCO in charge of the event. "We've had units who have supported us with as many as 150 Soldiers. The installation has given us everything we've needed and more."

Best Warrior is a five-day competition that features events at the Warrior Training Center, the installation's range, and other locations on post. Those venues have to be prepared to host events, and contestants have to be housed, fed, transported, prepared to face local and national media, provided medical support and properly equipped.

The 49th Quartermaster Group and the 23rd QM Brigade have provided the bulk of the support for Best Warrior, said Williams.

"They've gone well beyond my expectations," said Williams.

Although Best Warrior receives much of its support from units on post, in recent years support beyond the installation has been growing.

"This is not a local event," said Williams. "We've had a number of civilian and military organizations from places such as Fort Bragg, N.C., support us. We've even had a tow company from Hopewell who volunteered to provide us with salvaged vehicles (for some of the range events) to help simulate some of the conditions that Soldiers face in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The 2008 competitive events for Best Warrior begin Sept. 29 and end Oct. 4. Williams said every effort will be made to make sure Fort Lee puts its best foot forward to honor the Army's best Soldiers.

"You're going to see a professional, noncommissioned officer-led competition worthy of recognition," he said.

Page last updated Tue September 23rd, 2008 at 16:25