FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. -- Over three days of intense competition, Soldiers from the 780th Military Intelligence (MI) Brigade (Cyber) have competed against one another in a series of physical and mental events to be recognized as the brigade's Best Warrior, as well as the organization's Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year.
To be recognized as the brigade's Best Warrior, the Soldiers had to compete in a series of physical and mental challenges both here and at the Gunpowder Training Area in Glen Arm, Maryland, March 4 - 6.
Competitors took the Army Physical Fitness Test and appeared before a Sergeants Major Board on day one; completed the new Army Combat Fitness Test, found six points during day land navigation course and four different points at night and then took a written exam and essay to test their Army knowledge on day two; the competitors finished a 12-mile ruck march, completed an 11-station obstacle course intermixed with warrior tasks and battle drills, finishing with an M9 pistol and M4 rifle Stress Shoot event on day three. On March 7, the brigade command sergeant major, Command Sgt. Maj. James Krog, and the brigade commander, Col. Brian Vile, announced the winners in a ceremony at the brigade headquarters.
The 2019 Soldier of the Year and the brigade's Best Warrior in the Soldier category is Army Spc. Eva Perry from Issaquah, Washington. Perry is a cryptologic linguist (35P) assigned to B Company, 782nd Military Intelligence (MI) Battalion (Cyber), Fort Gordon, Georgia.
"To be a Best Warrior means that I have successfully demonstrated the excellence of those around me," said Perry. "I am proud to be able to represent my command in the Best Warrior Competition. I want to reflect the high level of knowledge and skill present in my command. Many of those whom I work with are exceptional Soldiers who have imparted their experience and high-level work ethic on me. I attribute the vast majority of what I know to those around me. I have been inspired by the Soldiers around me and they have given me the motivation to compete to the best of my ability in the competition."
Perry, who joined the Army in May of 2016, has a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from the University of Washington, and a Master of Studies in Law from Wake Forrest University. She was a pole-vaulter in college, and recently participated in Norwegian Foot March (18.6 miles) and beat the female course record by 21 minutes with a time of 2:58. Her future goal is to go back to school and get a master's in Computational Linguistics.
The NCO of the Year and brigade's Best Warrior (NCO) is Cpl. Kyle Tamraz, a signals intelligence (SIGINT) analyst (35N), from Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, and assigned to B Company, 781st MI Battalion (Cyber), Fort Meade, Md.
"I wanted to set myself ahead of my peers and to challenge myself physically and mentally," said Tamraz. "At every level I am going to try and make it fun and give it my all. I definitely believe the competition instills discipline, because if you are not properly preparing you are not going to succeed."
Tamraz, who joined the Army in February of 2017, has a Bachelor of Science in Criminology from Pennsylvania State University, and an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice from Northampton Community College. His future goal is to attain a master's degree in Homeland Security and become a brigade command sergeant major.
According to Sgt. 1st Class Travis Johnston, the Noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the brigade S-3 (operations) Training section, the U.S. Army Best Warrior Competition (BWC) starts at the unit level and for 780th MI Brigade Soldiers to reach the Army level they will need "face the gauntlet" and compete and win against their peers, who represent their organization's Best Warriors at the North Region U.S. Army Intelligence & Security Command (INSCOM); INSCOM; and U.S. Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) Best Warrior competitions.
Towards the end of the competition, cadre members expressed their appreciation to the competitors and their mentors for braving the 18 degree weather on Wednesday and doing their very best.
"The thing that makes us the greatest Army in the history of mankind is our will to accomplish our mission. The American Soldier has more heart than anyone else. This is why we are great," said 1st Sgt. Stanley Collins, the senior enlisted leader for the Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 780th MI Brigade, and the cadre lead for the brigade BWC. "Seeing you all compete here in the last three days has reminded me of that. I am happy to be in the Army with you today."