Behind Best Warrior
Sgt. 1st Class Jared Caldwell (right) was among NCOs and Soldiers awarded Army Achievement Medals Dec. 11, for helping with this year's Best Warrior competition. Caldwell, an instructor at the Petroleum and Water Department, Army Logistics University, is pictured in front of the official party (from left) Command Sgt. Maj. Nathan Hunt; Brig. Gen. Jesse R. Cross, Quartermaster School commanding general; and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston.

FORT LEE, Va. (Dec. 15, 2009) -- During the 2009 Best Warrior Competition, the spotlight focused on the 24 noncommissioned officers and Soldiers vying for the prestigious Department of the Army title of NCO and Soldier of the Year.

But on Dec. 11, nearly 100 Fort Lee NCOs and Soldiers, and a dozen Department of the Army civilians, were awarded for their behind-the-scenes efforts during the annual competition.

Presenting the awards, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston said it was the meticulous planning and execution of the competition, held for the seventh consecutive year at Fort Lee, Sept. 28-Oct. 2, which sets the standard for warrior training in the Army.

"If I were to sum up all of what you did, all your contributions which made this competition a success," Preston said , "it wasn't about Soldiers pitting themselves against Soldiers, or NCOs against NCOs. This was about Soldiers and NCOs pitting themselves against the standard. And all of you helped create that standard."

One of Preston's objectives during Best Warrior was to present the competitors with a series of challenges that would both test and strengthen their skills and knowledge in all tasks Soldiers face in today's operating environment. His intent was to give each competitor something worthwhile to take back to their units for training.

Master Sgt. Derrick Williams, Best Warrior planning cell operations NCO-in-charge, said the competition was designed with that in mind.

"We designed the competition to be extremely realistic and robust while still creating scenarios that Soldiers can take back and use for training without it costing their units a lot of money," said Williams.

Williams described the dozens of Fort Lee organizations -- including DA civilians, NCOs and Soldiers who worked on Best Warrior -- as being committed to putting forth the very best competition for the warriors who worked hard to get to that level of competition. During the awards ceremony, Preston mentioned the return of the competition to Fort Lee in 2010.

Page last updated Tue December 15th, 2009 at 10:34