After winning the installation-level Best Warrior Competition this spring and taking the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's competition by force, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year winner Staff Sgt. Joseph Hansen and Soldier of the Year winner Pfc. David Cox are busy preparing to move on to the Department of the Army level.

Hansen said both the Fort Leonard Wood and TRADOC competitions were comparable.

"They both tested our knowledge and skills to gauge our capabilities," he said. "A main difference was how long each were. (The Fort Leonard Wood competition) was a shortened version with the same number of events. This added a level of stress to the overall competition."

Hansen added, "Overall, TRADOC Best Warrior Competition was a great training event, which made the competitors better."

The Army's competition, slated to run Sept. 30 through Oct. 5 at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, and the Pentagon, brings 22 Soldiers and Noncommissioned Officers from 11 commands together in search of the best-of-the-best.

The following events are scheduled to be included in the upcoming six-day competition: Command Sergeants Major Board Appearance, Essay and Written Exam, Physical Fitness Assessment, Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills, Weapons Range, and, of course, various mystery events designed to test the participants' reactions while under both mental and physical stress.

Hansen and Cox said they plan on continuing the same training regimen.

"We really have no idea what to expect for the next competition, so we are just going to stick to the routine that got us where we are now," Cox said. "We'll continue to push ourselves and each other physically every day and accumulate as much knowledge and training as we can."

Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel Daily will be on hand to oversee the Department of the Army's 17th annual competition.

Those moving on to compete at the Army level include active duty, National Guard and Reserve Soldiers who have won at their local and senior command levels. Those competing for "Soldier of the Year" must be in the rank of private through specialist and corporal through sergeant first class for "Noncommissioned Officer of the Year."

Keep checking www.army.mil/bestwarrior/ for more information as the competition start date draws nearer.