MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker presented a state certificate of achievement to an Army Reserve soldier in Madison, Feb. 10, for his accomplishment in the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition in November.
Spc. Mitchell Fromm, a native of Stevens Point, Wis., and a combat engineer with the 428th Engineer Company, took second place in the Soldier of the Year category. The Army Best Warrior Competition featured 24 top contestants from 12 major commands across the entire Army.
There are approximately 900,000 soldiers serving in the U.S. Army across the globe. The competition challenged the contestants over a span of three days both mentally and physically. Fromm trained and competed at various Army Reserve levels for a year before making it as far as he did.
"It couldn't have happened to a finer soldier," said Tim Kluck, the fire chief of Plover Fire Department, which is where Fromm serves as a firefighter in his civilian life.
"My opinion [is that this is] excellent, and it's well worth it and if it inspires other young men to do the same thing and get involved, I'm a 100 percent behind it," said Kluck.
Kluck was one of many other representatives who joined Fromm at the governor's office for the presentation. Also present were: Stevens Point Mayor Andrew Halverson; Gerald Meyer, Army Reserve ambassador for Wisconsin; Lt. Col. David Skavnak, battalion commander of the 397th Engineer Battalion; and Command Sgt. Maj. Ty Emmans, command sergeant major of the 364th Press Camp Headquarters among other members and supporters of the Army Reserve community.
"We're a community that respects armed forces and, most importantly, we're a community best exemplified by our employers who are always there to support those who need to be away to serve their country," said Halverson.
Fromm has already been recognized with a standing ovation by the Plover Fire Department and recognizes the level of appreciation soldiers receive today, he said.
"They're definitely very proud, and I'm glad they could take time out of their schedule and be here in support of me," said Fromm.
This May, Fromm will be competing as a member of a team at Sapper Stakes, a combat engineer competition hosted by the 416th Theater Engineer Command at Fort McCoy, Wis.
"Onto the next competition. As much as I like the awards and the ceremonies, I'm very much a training soldier and a firefighter, and I like to be back to where I belong, which is hands-on training," said Fromm.
Fromm trained with Army Reserve civil affairs specialist Sgt. 1st Class Jason Manella for months to prepare for the Best Warrior Competition. Manella won first place in the noncommissioned officer category of the competition in November.