• Sgt. Brandon Kitchen, left, and Sgt. Anthony Moore, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, takes a break after participating in the engagement skills trainer during the first day of the 2012 Best Warrior Competition Monday at Fort Lee, Va.

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    Sgt. Brandon Kitchen, left, and Sgt. Anthony Moore, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, takes a break after participating in the engagement skills trainer during the first day of the 2012 Best Warrior Competition...

  • Sgt. Brandon Kitchen, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's noncommissioned officer of the year, heads out to zero his M-4 rifle with other competitors in the 2012 Best Warrior Competition Monday at one of the weapons ranges at Fort Lee, Va.

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    Sgt. Brandon Kitchen, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's noncommissioned officer of the year, heads out to zero his M-4 rifle with other competitors in the 2012 Best Warrior Competition Monday at one of the...

  • Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, right, looks on as Sgt. Brandon Kitchen, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's noncommissioned officer of the year, introduces himself to his fellow competitors in the 2012 Best Warrior Competition opening ceremony Sunday at Fort Lee, Va.

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    Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, right, looks on as Sgt. Brandon Kitchen, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's noncommissioned officer of the year, introduces himself to his fellow competitors in the...

FORT LEE, Va. -- Two Soldiers from U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command look to become the best of the best as they represent the command in the Army's 2012 Best Warrior Competition at Fort Lee, Va.

Beginning Monday, Sgt. Brandon Kitchen and Sgt. Anthony Moore look to represent USASMDC/ARSTRAT to be named the best of the best as they compete against 22 other Soldiers from across the Army's major commands.

Prior to the beginning of the event, the Army's senior enlisted Soldier spoke to the competitors and wished them the best in the upcoming days.

"There's only going to be one winner for the NCO and for the Soldier category, but you have got to accept that it's taken a tremendous amount of effort for you to get here to this place," said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III. "Be proud of your accomplishments. You each came in here with your head held high, and you're going to leave out of here with your head held high saying you have done your best. Why is that? Because you are a United States Army Soldier."

The Best Warrior competition celebrates its 11th anniversary as the "Super Bowl" of Army competitions. During the competition, the Soldiers will test their Army aptitude, conquering urban warfare simulations, board interviews, the Army Physical Fitness test, written exams, warrior tasks and battle drills relevant to today's operating environment.

Competition winners will be announced during the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting Oct. 22 in Washington, D.C.

"I don't think I will have an advantage in this year's competition," Kitchen said. The way the competition is conducted changes each year, so I believe that this year will have a different set of challenges and situations to face. Also, I was competing as a Soldier last year. This year I am competing as a Noncommissioned Officer, so I will be evaluated on a different set of tasks. I am expecting the competition to be completely different, so I am just going to use the training I've had to do the best that I can."

After competing for Soldier of the Year in 2011, Kitchen is attempting to be named the 2012 NCO of the Year.

"I expect to do well in this year's competition," he said. "I have seen the caliber of Soldiers and Noncommissioned Officers that attend the competition, and I am eager to compete against the best NCOs that the Army has to offer. The Best Warrior Competition brings together Soldiers from all over the Army, with a variety of Military Occupational Specialties and skill sets, which are truly the best of the best. It is a remarkable experience to take part in. I am going to do the absolute best I can, so that I can be the first Department of the Army Noncommissioned Officer of the Year to come from the Space and Missile Defense Command.

"It is an honor to represent the Space and Missile Defense Command as the Noncommissioned Officer of the Year at the DA Best Warrior Competition," Kitchen added. "I am going to use my experience and knowledge to do the absolute best that I can. I want show Sgt. Maj. of the Army Chandler, as well as the rest of the Army, that SMDC has outstanding Soldiers and Noncommissioned Officers that are true professionals."

Unlike Kitchen, this year is Moore's first time at the competition as he strives to be named the 2012 Soldier of the Year. He talked about his goal to be named the top Soldier and represent his enlisted brothers and sisters.

"It is an honor and a privilege to represent SMDC in the Best Warrior Competition," Moore said. "I am going to do my best to win this thing. Over the past couple of months we have done plenty of urban orienteering, land navigation, studying and plenty of physical training all to prepare myself mentally and physically for the competition. I am ready.

During the first day, the competitors received training, were subject to a written exam and an essay and spending time in an engagement skills trainer before wrapping up at the M4 zero range.

"Today has been an exciting day," Kitchen said. "We completed the written test and the essay which were challenging and different from last year. The questions and subject matter were concentrated on what the Army is doing and I enjoyed that.

"SMDC is doing very well this year," he added. "We are keeping our heads high and keep driving on. I think this year's competition is going great and I feel we are going to pull it out for SMDC."

As the day concluded, SMDC's Soldier of the Year talked about his first day competing against the Army's best.

"Today's events were challenging but they were educational at the same time," Moore said. "The written test was definitely challenging because it challenges your mental capacity for Army knowledge.

"The competition has definitely not been what I expected," he added. "It is a true test of warrior skills."

Page last updated Wed October 17th, 2012 at 18:15