FORT BLISS, TEXAS -- Staff Sgt. Joshua Mills' friends and battle buddies describe the fallen Green Beret as a true competitor who never backed down from a challenge.Soldiers of the 1st Armored Division honored the El Paso native as they competed in several Special Forces qualification tasks during the second annual Staff Sgt. Joshua M. Mills Commando Competition here Nov. 18-20.The Special Operations Recruiting Battalion of Fort Bragg, N.C., created the event in 2014 as a way to honor Mills, who lost his life in Afghanistan in 2009, as well as create awareness for special operations careers. The SORB's mission is to convince active duty Soldiers to become Special Forces."This event is two-fold. We want to honor a local El Paso native, a Green Beret who made the ultimate sacrifice," SORB Command Sgt. Maj. Ryan Razon said. "We also want to provide awareness to the kind of sacrifices these Soldiers make. We want to expose them to some situations that they might face in Special Operations."Twenty four 1st AD Soldiers endured a number of physically and mentally challenging events. Flown via CH-47 Chinook to a training ground used by Special Operations and law enforcement personnel, the Soldiers conducted a stress-shoot event that is designed to keep their heart rate up while constantly moving and shooting. SORB recruiters served as cadre for the events and provided guidance along the way."For many of the competitors, they may never receive this type of training again if they stay in their current MOS," Razon said.A 16-mile ruck march with pop-up challenges followed the weapons range. Exhausted and cold, the Soldiers returned from the ruck march to complete a series of upper body exercises as well as a math and science exam. While the competition is rugged in nature, some Soldiers ask for more."One of last year's competitors put in a packet for psychological operations because of the competition," event coordinator Sgt. 1st Class Wesley Carey said. "The competition has helped us build relationships with the division leadership and gives us access to more Soldiers."Special Operations recruiters often find themselves acting in dual roles at their duty stations. "We've sent out recruiters as instructors for firearms, medical, and any other training the units are looking for," Carey said. "Anytime we can get out there and help with training, it helps us become more visible."Building relationships with other units takes some time but can be very rewarding. According to Razon, some units are beginning to seek out Special Operations recruiters because of their reputation."One of the commands here expressed interest in utilizing some of our Soldiers to train advanced rifle marksmanship and advanced land navigation skills to an infantry battalion," he said. "While our Soldiers are providing this training, they are also planting a seed for recruiting the Army's next generation of SF forces."Razon hopes to conduct similar competitions at other posts throughout the Army in the near future. As for Staff Sgt. Mills, his memory will continue to live on at Fort Bliss as planning for next year's competition has already started.