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(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Story and photo by Will Ravenstein

1st Inf. Div. Public Affairs

Two Soldiers walked out of a conference room in the 1st Infantry Division Headquarters Building April 26 named Soldier and noncommissioned officer of the Quarter -- after four days of competition testing them on their basic Soldiering skills.

Sgt. Jaret Melliand, 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, and Spc. Nathan Olay, 97th Military Police Battalion, were told that they will also represent the "Big Red One" June 24 to 28 at the Best Warrior Competition at Fort Hood, Texas.

"It feels good," Melliand said. "It was definitely a good competition."

"I'm kind of relieved it's over with," Olay said. "I'm ready for the next one … keep pushing forward for more."

The four-day competition began early April 23 and concluded April 26 with Command Sgt. Maj. Craig Bishop, 1st Inf. Div. senior noncommissioned officer, leading a five-member board.

"Day one starts off with a [physical training] test," said Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Ewald, 1st Inf. Div., training. "We go to the range and qualify, we go to the land [navigation] site and do day and night land nav. Day two, is going to consist of a six mile road march in the morning, right into [Army Warrior Tasks] lanes -- which is all skill level one tasks.

"Day three is … Combatives level one and the obstacle course," he said. "And the last day is the board with the division sergeant major and all the brigade sergeant majors."

Each candidate received points based on their performance of the events.

"Besides the sergeant major's take on the board, the guy, or the girl, with most points is the winner of the competition," Ewald said. "This competition is a little different, because this one, they're going to go to Texas and compete as the Best Warrior Competition."

Both Melliand and Olay said they will continue to improve on their PT scores while studying their Army Warrior Tasks to better prepare themselves.

"[We're] just going to keep pushing forward," Melliand said. "Just like the sergeant major said, 'No one likes to lose.' So, we've got to keep winning -- the 1st IDs going to win."

The two were also presented the Army Commendation Medal from the division and are now eligible to compete in the NCO and Soldier of the Year Competition.