U.S. Army Public Health Command Soldiers work in locations around the globe to support the command's public health mission, but once a year, the 12 Best Warriors from each of five regions and the USAPHC headquarters come together to compete to become the command's Best Warriors.

The weather at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, Lauderick Creek training area, cooperated March 31-April 2 as Soldiers and non-commissioned officers tested themselves by taking the Army physical fitness test and a written exam as well as locating markers in day and night land navigation and engaging simulated enemy targets in a weapons qualification event. The final event was an appearance before a command sergeant major board.

Spc. Michael Murphy, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, who earned Best Warrior Soldier of the Year honors said, "We competed against ourselves, and we were supported by everyone."

Murphy credited Sgt. Eric Jimenez, fellow competitor from HHC, with being his mentor and support during the competition.

Sgt. Kil Jong Lee, Public Health Command Region--Pacific, said he competed last year.

"My motto is never to quit," Lee said, and his persistence paid off as he earned Best Warrior NCO of the Year this time around.

All the competitors said the competition was physically and mentally demanding, and they praised the cadre who coordinated the event.

The competitors received three-day passes, and in addition, Lee and Murphy were presented with Army Commendation Medals. They will compete against other U.S. Army Medical Command Soldiers in the MEDCOM Best Warrior Competition scheduled to be held during the first week of May in Texas.

"Our Soldiers and NCOs get great support from others in their regional commands," said Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Ramos, USAPHC command sergeant major. "They help each other enhance their technical and tactical skills. The competition promotes and inspires excellence."

The following is a list of the Soldiers who competed in this competition:
Sgt. Luis RiveraCapales and Pfc. Keturah Branch, PHCR--Europe; Sgt. Kil Jong Lee and Spc. Charlestonion Moore, PHCR--Pacific; Sgt. Kourtney Wallace and Spc. Yevheniy Andreyko, PHCR--North; Staff Sgt. Michael Waters and Sgt. Robert Lutton PHCR--South; Sgt. Olayori Ogunnaike and Pfc. Emmanuelle Braaten, PHCR--West; and Sgt. Eric Jimenez and Spc. Michael Murphy, USAPHC--HHC.