Strength and mental agility were put to the test during 1st Armored Division's weeklong Best Warrior competition recently.

Sgt. Mark Robinson, an infantry Soldier assigned to 4th Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, and Spc. Laderius Beattie, a human resources Soldier with the 1st AD's Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, were named this year's NCO and Soldier of the Year for the 1st AD.

In order to earn the title of this year's best Soldier and NCO, these individuals competed and beat out fellow Iron Soldiers across America's Tank Division in a tough week-long Best Warrior Competition held May 13-16.

The competition tested each individual's fitness level, military knowledge, warrior skills and preparedness in several events such as medical skills lanes, weapons proficiency, hand-to-hand combatives, land navigation, and other vital military tasks in order to determine the division's top junior-enlisted Soldier and top NCO.

"I am honored to be this year's Soldier of the Year," said Beattie. "I entered the Best Warrior Competition in order to perform to the best of my ability and to represent my company, and that's what I did."

This year's Best Warrior Competition also pushed each individual Soldier to the limit, testing their skills in a challenging, fast-paced environment.

"There are a lot of physical and mental events in the competition," said Staff Sgt. Tyler Lewis, the runner-up of the NCO competition, who serves as a field artillery firefinder radar operator assigned to 2nd Battery, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st SBCT. "The events definitely torch you with both physically and mentally challenging stations change to back-to-back with no rest."

The competition was designed to have these demanding events in quick succession, preventing contestants from being able to only prepare and study for individual tasks immediately before they are assessed.

"Winning this competition shows the commitment and ability of the leadership in my battalion and brigade," said Robinson, "The leadership here (4-17 Infantry) prepares and develops you more than you could imagine."