A valiant journey is nearing its triumphant end.

The U.S. Army Best Warrior Competition kicked off Monday, at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, with 20 Soldiers representing ten major commands from around the Army. The top Noncommissioned Officer and top Soldier will be selected based upon the evaluation of each competitor's performance over the weeklong event, and will be announced Oct. 3, in Washington D.C. Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey will oversee the competition and welcomed each competitor with encouragement.

"It's been a long journey for some of you to be here," Dailey said. "Every one of you is a phenomenal NCO and Soldier. Every one of you have performed well above your peers."

The competitors' journey began earlier this year as they prepared, competed in, and won company level Soldier/NCO of the Year competitions, and continued to win at successive echelons; battalion, brigade, division, installation, and major command. A mere four days remain in that journey to earn the title of the Army's best. Despite the end being near, these last few days will be extremely challenging.

"Every single aspect of a Soldier is going to be tested this week; from their physical capability, to their mental resiliency," Dailey said. "I'm looking for a soldier who is physically, mentally, and more than capable of representing every single Soldier in the United States Army."

Over the next week, competitors will be tested on physical fitness, written exams, and warrior tasks and battle drills. Additionally, the competitors will face mystery events which will test their ability to react, adapt and overcome an unexpected challenge just as they would on the battlefield. The competition will culminate with a board interview with senior command sergeants major.

The BWC is a premiere event which gives Soldiers an opportunity to focus their discipline and hard work to compete at an elite level and distinguish themselves and their units.

"The biggest part for me is it shows the individual effort they put out; the effort above and beyond their peers," said Dailey. "And it makes you a better Soldier because it is also training."

The path to becoming a competitor for top NCO and Soldier is long and challenging. It requires a high level of discipline and sustained hard work and perseverance.

"Any Soldier can do it as long as they have the winning spirit," Dailey said. "I challenge every Soldier out there, if you think you've got what it takes to be the best then come out and give this competition a try. It's going to be hard; what we do as Soldiers is hard."

Check in and follow the final days of the U.S. Army 2016 Best Warrior Competition by visiting: https://www.army.mil/bestwarrior/.