• Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. greets competitors from the 2009 Best Warrior Competition as they enter the AUSA annual meeting's opening event Monday.

    CSA greets Best Warrior competitors

    Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. greets competitors from the 2009 Best Warrior Competition as they enter the AUSA annual meeting's opening event Monday.

  • Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli poses with Spc. Clancy Henderson after presenting him the Soldier of the Year award.  Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston stands to the right of Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Beckman as he holds the 2009 Noncommissioned Officer of the Year award during a luncheon at the Association of the United States Army's annual meeting Oct. 5

    Soldier and NCO of Year awards

    Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli poses with Spc. Clancy Henderson after presenting him the Soldier of the Year award. Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston stands to the right of Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Beckman as he holds the 2009...

  • Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston holds the sword along with NCO of the Year Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Beckman and Soldier of the Year Spc. Clancy Henderson as they partake in the ceremonial cutting of the cake at the 8th Annual Awards Luncheon at the Association of the United States Army annual meeting Oct. 5.

    Best warriors cut cake

    Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston holds the sword along with NCO of the Year Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Beckman and Soldier of the Year Spc. Clancy Henderson as they partake in the ceremonial cutting of the cake at the 8th Annual Awards Luncheon at...

  • Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Beckman, representing U.S. Army Europe, reacts to an attack during the 'Evaluate a Casualty' Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills during the 2009 Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition Sept. 28 - Oct. 2 at Fort Lee, Va.

    Beckman reacts to battle drill

    Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Beckman, representing U.S. Army Europe, reacts to an attack during the 'Evaluate a Casualty' Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills during the 2009 Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition Sept. 28 - Oct. 2 at Fort Lee...

  • Spc. Clancey Henderson, U.S. Army Europe, sets his sights on a terrorist in a hostage scenario. Henderson was having his go at the exercise during the Urban Warfare Orienteering Course of the Best Warrior Competition.

    Henderson in Urban Warfare Orienteering

    Spc. Clancey Henderson, U.S. Army Europe, sets his sights on a terrorist in a hostage scenario. Henderson was having his go at the exercise during the Urban Warfare Orienteering Course of the Best Warrior Competition.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 6, 2009) -- An NCO academy leader in Germany and an intelligence specialist from Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., earned top honors this past week at the Army's 2009 Best Warrior Competition.

Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Beckman, U.S. Army Europe, was named NCO of the Year. Spc. Clancy Henderson of U.S. Army Forces Command won Soldier of the Year.

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston announced the winners Monday during the 8th Annual Noncommissioned Officer of the Year - Soldier of the Year Awards Luncheon, part of the Association of the United States Army's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli recognized all 24 men and women who represented their commands during six days of tough competition last week at Fort Lee, Va.

Chiarelli honored the Soldiers at the luncheon as "the best of the best." He admitted that the luncheon is his favorite event of AUSA "because it celebrates the most important part of our Army -- our people."

"It is especially meaningful to be presenting these awards at such a pivitol time. Our nation and Army have been at war for eight years -- the longest we have fought with an all-volunteer force -- and I believe that distinction speaks volumes of the men and women here today," said Chiarelli.

Twenty-four warriors representing 12 U.S. Army major commands competed in the Army's Best Warrior Competition at Fort Lee Sept. 27- Oct. 2. The competition tested the Soldiers' skills, qualities and abilities through sergeants major boards, tasks and battle drills, combatives, written examinations, M-4 rifle qualification and day and night Urban Warfare Orientation courses.

Sgt. 1st Class Beckman serves as senior small group Leader at the 7th Army NCO Academy in Grafenwoehr, Germany for U.S. Army Europe. Beckman has been in the Army for 12 years and has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has attended the sapper school and the combat lifesaver course.

"For me, the driving force is the Soldiers that I serve with, work with and work for," said the NCO from Venango, Neb. "The fact that they showed the confidence in me to say, 'We want you to represent our company. We want you to represent our academy. We all want you to represent our major command."

Spc. Henderson serves as an all-source intelligence analyst with the 193rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, at Fort Leonard Wood. A native of Longmont, Colo., he has been in the Army for two years and is currently attending the American Military University, pursuing a degree in intelligence analysis.

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"I'm very excited to be able to be named the Soldier of the Year," Henderson said. "I know that we have a great Army, we have great leaders. I have great leaders and NCOs, and I'm excited to be able to come out here and represent people that I know are great and are well-trained and to represent the best Army in the world."

Sgt. 1st Class Beckman and Spc. Henderson will be spokespersons for the Army throughout the upcoming year.

"The NCOs and Soldiers I observed this week are nothing short of inspiring," Preston said. "They endured an exhausting week of physical and mental testing and evaluation. I am very, very proud of all of them and they are all winners."

Page last updated Tue October 6th, 2009 at 11:12