Many people compete to honor comrades who have made the ultimate sacrifice. However, in the 311th Signal Command (Theater) annual 2013 Best Warrior Competition, one Soldier competed to honor someone who was more than a fallen comrade; he competed to honor his younger brother.
Spc. Jonathan Ross, 293rd Signal Company, 1st Signal Brigade, was one of eight Soldiers from across the Pacific who contended for the title of the 311th Signal Command (Theater) Soldier of the Year during a competition held here May 2 through 8.
His younger brother, Pfc. Adam Ross, was shot and killed in an ambush in Afghanistan July 26.
"I took a lot of inspiration from my younger brother, who was killed in action right before my appearance at 1st Signal Brigade's Soldier of the Quarter competition," Ross said.
Ross made the journey to Hawaii to compete from South Korea, where he is stationed.
During the week-long competition, the Soldiers participated in physically and mentally demanding events such as land navigation, weapons qualification and a physical fitness test. The Soldiers then took a written examination and attended a formal sergeant major board.
"I feel that the competition was hard fought," said Ross. "I went up against two very squared away Soldiers and I would not have been surprised if either of them were named Soldier of the Year."
Ultimately, it was Ross who was chosen to represent the command as the 311th Soldier of the Year.
"Had it not been for Adam's constant encouragement throughout my initial year in the Army, I seriously doubt I would be where I am today," Ross said. "I have set my mind to compete at every level to the fullness of my ability and I do it all in honor of his memory."
Ross will represent the 311th at the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command Warrior Challenge Competition in June.