FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii -- Commitment to excellence, desire to succeed, and an unquenchable thirst to improve. Six Soldiers and NCOs of the 311th Signal Command (SC) said these were the motivations that drove them to be recognized and selected to compete in this year's annual Best Warrior Competition (BWC), May 9-13, 2014.
"My uncle told me once, If a man created it, man can accomplish it. He told me that everything is mental," said Pfc. Andrew Lee, 24, and winner of the Signal Command's Soldier of the Year award. "My strength is my endurance. During a road march I have it in my mind at all times not to give up," he said. "I want to better myself (through this competition) and to push my limits both mentally and physically." Lee is an Information Technology (IT) Specialist with the 501st Signal Company, 36th Signal Battalion, Korea.
The Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year receive prestigious honors and cash awards in recognition of their achievements and represent the Army at special events throughout the year.
Each year, participating Commands send their Soldier of the Year and NCO of the year to Fort Lee, VA to compete with their peers from 12 Army commands across the globe. The winners will wear the distinction of Best Soldier or Best NCO at the US Army Reserve Command (USARC) the final and highest level of competition.
"My goal (through the BWC competition) is to be the best NCO and total Soldier I could possibly be," said Staff Sgt. Frankie Williams, 31, winner of the Signal Command's NCO of the Year award. "My strengths are Land Navigation and Marksmanship," said Williams, Property Book Office NCO with the 311th SC G4 office and father of two girls. "Of course I have the best mentors, Master Sgt. Andrade and Sgt. Maj. Summerlin to model myself after," he said.
The Best Warrior Competition, conducted at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, included; Hand to hand combat, a road march, M4/M16 rifle zero and qualification, Day and Night Land navigation tests, and a number of Army Warrior Training (AWT) tasks. Additionally, two "mystery" events unknown to the competitors tested the Soldier's knowledge and ability to think on his/her feet. Competitors were also tested for their aptitude through board interviews, and written exams relevant to the Army's operating environment.
The winners of the 311th SC BWC received titles of Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year and will go on to compete at the NETCOM level. Winners at that level go on as national finalists in the US Army Reserve Command BWC.