Background Information

2009 Department of the Army NCO and Soldier of the Year

Twenty-four of the Army’s finest Warriors, representing 12 commands from across the Army, will report to Fort Lee, Va., Sept. 28- Oct. 3, 2009, to compete in the 2009 Best Warrior Competition. Described as the “Super Bowl” of Army competitions, the Best Warrior will celebrate its eighth anniversary this year.

Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston will oversee the annual competition which names the Department of the Army’s Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

Warriors selected to compete for the prestigious titles have mastered a series of benchmarks throughout the year to qualify for the Army-wide Best Warrior Competition. Warriors for Soldier of the Year include the ranks of private through specialist, and Warriors for NCO of the Year include ranks corporal through sergeant first class. All Army active duty, National Guard and Reserve-component Soldiers are eligible to compete.

The Warriors represented in the competition compete on behalf of these Army Commands: U.S. Army Forces Command, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, U.S. Army Europe, U.S. Army Materiel Command, U.S. Army Forces Korea, U.S. Army Medical Command, U.S. Army Pacific Command, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, U.S. Army Reserve Command, Army National Guard, and the National Capitol Region, which includes several smaller commands.

During the competition, these elite competitors will test their Army aptitude by conquering urban warfare simulations, board interviews, physical fitness tests, written exams, and Warrior tasks and battle drills relevant to today’s operating environment.

In addition, Warriors will go before two selection boards comprised of six senior sergeants major from across the Army. These boards, chaired by Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston, evaluate each competitor's appearance, military bearing and knowledge of critical Army topics.

Competition winners will be announced during the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting, Monday, Oct. 5, in Washington, D.C. The Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year will receive prestigious honors and cash awards in recognition of their achievements and represent the Army at special events throughout their 2009-2010 reign.

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