A musician with the 282nd Army "Victory" Band and a chaplain's assistant were named Fort Jackson's 2007 Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year, respectively.

The announcement was made Wednesday following two days of competition between three NCOs and three Soldiers in several areas including the Army Physical Fitness Test, rifle marksmanship, appearance before a board, a 50-question exam, a written essay, Warrior Task testing as well as a day and night land navigation competition.

"I am shocked," said Sgt. Scott Boyle, 282nd Army Band, after hearing the news. "The competition was really close. I knew it was going to be neck and neck."

Spc. Brian Winters, a chaplain's assistant with 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception) was named Soldier of the Year.

The pair will represent Fort Jackson during the U.S. Army Accessions Command NCO/Soldier of the Year Competition slated for May 15-18.

"I have a lot of hard work ahead of me to prepare for Accessions Command," Boyle said. "I plan to especially concentrate on day and land navigation, because that was the most challenging and frustrating part of this competition for me."

Boyle, 25, who has a Bachelor of Science in music education, said his long-term goal in the Army is to become a drill sergeant.

"I am looking forward to becoming a better Soldier so that when I become a drill sergeant I can help those Soldiers that follow me with boards and competitions," he said.

Winters, 36, who was assigned to the 94th Engineer Battalion (Combat), Germany, before coming to Fort Jackson said he is excited to continue in the competition.

"I am so pleased," he said. "I am going to start preparing for the Accessions Command competition on Monday."

While day and night land navigation was the most challenging aspect for Winters, he said he plans to concentrate on all aspects of the upcoming competition.

"This will be a stiffer competition because I will be going against the best from several installations," he said. "The things I did well at are the things I will concentrate on."

The Fort Jackson competition was hosted and organized by the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, as well as the installation's 2006 Drill Sergeant of the Year, Sgt. 1st Class Arthur Grant.

"The leadership of 3-34 Infantry spent a great deal of time and energy ensuring the competition met the post command sergeant major's intent of evaluating each participant using the 'Total Soldier' concept, and picking the overall best Soldier and noncommissioned officer to represent Fort Jackson in the 2007 U.S. Army Accessions Command NCO/Soldier of the Year Competition," said Capt. Jeremiah Hood, project officer, 165th Infantry Brigade.

A formal recognition ceremony for Fort Jackson's 2007 NCO and Soldier of the Year is tentatively set for April 26 at the Joe E. Mann Center.

Page last updated Tue April 10th, 2007 at 11:59