• Spc. Justin Sampson, a combat engineer with Company A, 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, maneuvers to a notional covered position as part of an intensive training routine as he prepares to represent the Falcon Brigade at the division's annual Noncommissioned Officer and Trooper of the Year competition, at Fort Bragg, N.C.

    Trooper of the Year training

    Spc. Justin Sampson, a combat engineer with Company A, 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, maneuvers to a notional covered position as part of an intensive training routine as he prepares to represent the Falcon Brigade at the...

  • FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Spc. Justin Sampson (left), a combat engineer with Company A, 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, is instructed on the proper way to maneuver under fire by Sgt. Cameron Ragsdale, an infantryman with 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, in preparation for the division's Noncommissioned Officer and Trooper of the Year competition, at Fort Bragg, N.C.  Sampson was selected by 2nd Brigade Combat Team, to represent the Falcon Brigade at the annual competition, and has been preparing for weeks through intensive studying and training.

    Trooper of the Year Training

    FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Spc. Justin Sampson (left), a combat engineer with Company A, 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, is instructed on the proper way to maneuver under fire by Sgt. Cameron Ragsdale, an infantryman with 2nd...

  • Spc. Justin Sampson, a combat engineer with Company A, 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, prepares to represent his brigade at the 82nd Airborne Division's annual Noncommissioned Officer and Trooper of the Year competition, at Fort Bragg, N.C.  Sampson has been visiting each of the Falcon Brigade's battalions to receive specialized training from medics and infantrymen, to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialists.

    Trooper of the Year training

    Spc. Justin Sampson, a combat engineer with Company A, 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, prepares to represent his brigade at the 82nd Airborne Division's annual Noncommissioned Officer and Trooper of the Year competition, at Fort Bragg, N.C...

  • Sgt. Jason Sharp, a combat medic with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, high crawls to a notional fighting position as he practices maneuvering under fire in preparation for the 82nd Airborne Division's annual Noncommissioned Officer and Trooper of the Year competition, at Fort Bragg, N.C.  Sharp, along with Spc. Justin Sampson, a combat engineer with 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, have been training and studying intensively on a variety of skills and subjects since they were chosen to represent the Falcon Brigade.

    NCO of the Year training

    Sgt. Jason Sharp, a combat medic with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, high crawls to a notional fighting position as he practices maneuvering under fire in preparation for...

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (March 19, 2013) -- Across the 82nd Airborne Division, Paratroopers who have been chosen by their sergeants major, are preparing to face off here, today, in the division's annual Noncommissioned Officer and Trooper of the Year competition.

Every year, each brigade selects a Paratrooper and a noncommissioned officer, known as an NCO, to compete at the division level and determine who is the most physically fit, best trained, and who possesses the greatest knowledge of Army doctrine and the history of the 82nd Airborne Division.

Troopers will take a written exam, conduct land navigation in the field day and night, run an obstacle course to challenge their bodies and minds under intense stress, and will conclude with a final board in front of the division's top enlisted advisers, including the division's senior enlisted adviser, Command Sgt. Maj. LaMarquis Knowles.

Competitors are selected by a board of senior enlisted advisers who individually assess each candidate's knowledge on a variety of subjects. Their confidence and personal appearance are also closely scrutinized. During these private question-and-answer sessions, the candidates are often asked to explain combat tactics, demonstrate marching movements, and even explain their styles of leadership.

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team chose Sgt. Jason Sharp, a combat medic with 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, and Spc. Justin Sampson, a combat engineer with 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion to represent the Falcon Brigade.

"I'm honored that the brigade has chosen me to represent them," Sampson said. "It's an awesome opportunity to put my training into perspective."

These two Paratroopers have been preparing for the competition for weeks by enduring intensive study sessions and hands-on training with a variety of subject matter experts provided by each battalion in the Falcon Brigade.

On the morning of March 18, they began with classroom and hands-on training at 2nd Battalion, 325th AIR, on identifying and using hand grenades, react to an improvised explosive device, move in urban terrain, and move under fire.

The competition will officially begin March 19, at Towle Stadium with the Army Physical Fitness Test, and will be followed by rifle qualification later in the day.

Page last updated Tue March 19th, 2013 at 00:00