• Spc. Brandon Kitchen, Company B, 53rd Signal Battalion, stands in line before the marksmanship portion of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's 2011 NCO and Soldier of the Year competition that took place in Colorado Springs, Colo., June 20-24. Kitchen was named the command's Soldier of the Year during a ceremony June 24.

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    Spc. Brandon Kitchen, Company B, 53rd Signal Battalion, stands in line before the marksmanship portion of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's 2011 NCO and Soldier of the Year competition that took place in...

  • Staff Sgt. Andrew Brown, 1st Space Company, 1st Space Battalion, presents himself to the Sergeants Major Board during the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's 2011 NCO and Soldier of the Year competition that took place in Colorado Springs, Colo., June 20-24. Brown was named the command's NCO of the Year during a ceremony June 24.

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    Staff Sgt. Andrew Brown, 1st Space Company, 1st Space Battalion, presents himself to the Sergeants Major Board during the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's 2011 NCO and Soldier of the Year competition that took...

  • SSG Andrew Brown, 2011 USASMDC/ARTRAT NCO of the year inspects the uniform of a fellow soldier during a surprise event during the competition.

    Uniform Inspection

    SSG Andrew Brown, 2011 USASMDC/ARTRAT NCO of the year inspects the uniform of a fellow soldier during a surprise event during the competition.

  • SPC Brandon Kitchen, 2011 USASMDC/ARTRAT Soldier of the year fires during the range. Kitchen will now represent the command in the Army-wide competition later this year.

    Firing Range

    SPC Brandon Kitchen, 2011 USASMDC/ARTRAT Soldier of the year fires during the range. Kitchen will now represent the command in the Army-wide competition later this year.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The top noncommissioned officer and Soldier from the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's 2011 NCO and Soldier of the Year competition have been named.

Staff Sgt. Andrew Brown, 1st Space Company, 1st Space Battalion, has been named the NCO of the Year, and Spc. Brandon Kitchen, Company B, 53rd Signal Battalion, has been named the Soldier of the Year.

"I'm excited and surprised," Kitchen said. "There was so much knowledge among these Soldiers, I'm honored to have been able to compete and still come out on top."

Brown said he was surprised also.

"I'm surprised and speechless," Brown said. "This is such a wonderful group of Soldiers. I'm honored to compete with these guys. Now, we go back and complete the mission."

Kitchen said the easiest event for him was the run portion of the Army Physical Fitness Test.

"I'm originally from Colorado, so I had an advantage," Kitchen said. "It didn't take me very long to acclimate to the altitude."

Brown said the hardest event for him was the situational exercise.

"We had such a small squad for such a large mission, and there was so much gunfire," Brown said. "It really pushed me to my limit."

The winners will now compete in the Department of the Army's Best Warrior competition at Fort Lee, Va., in October.

Page last updated Fri June 24th, 2011 at 00:00