SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – After months of training and three days of testing, the 25th Infantry Division (25ID) has selected its 2020 Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the year who will represent the division in 2020 U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) Best Warrior Competition later this year.
The NCO and Soldier of the Year Competition for the 25ID was held at Schofield Barracks and Lightning Academy in Wahiawa, Hawaii from June 1-3. This competition was the culmination of all NCO and Soldier of the Quarter competitions held at the subordinate brigades.
This year’s winners are Spc. Brennen Olsen, a Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic assigned to 536th Support Maintenance Company, 524th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 25th Division Sustainment Brigade, 25th Infantry Division and Sgt. Patiellos Faria, an Infantryman assigned to Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.
The competition consisted of a variety of events, such as the Army Combat Fitness Test, formal board, a ruck march, and various tests of basic Soldier tasks and skills. All of these tasks were conducted with minimal sleep throughout the course of the three days.
According to Sgt. Maj. Jerry Tucker, the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of Division Operations and Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of the competition, the NCO and Soldier of the Year competition at division level picks the best of the best out of the 25ID.
“Having won this competition means a lot because it definitely shows that I’m a cut above the rest,” said Olsen. “I’m definitely trying my best … I’m not doing anything 50 percent but going above and beyond.”
“This competition has improved me as a Soldier because it’s helped me reveal my weaker points,” Olsen continues. “Of course, any physical activity increases your mental toughness, especially in a competitive atmosphere where it pushes you beyond your normal limits.”
“It feels really good to have won,” said Faria. “I’m proud of myself and proud that I could represent my company and my unit. My favorite part of this competition is knowing that my training and preparation set me apart from my peers.”
Spc. Olsen and Sgt. Faria will now enter a specialized training program designed to further hone their skills as Soldiers and ensure they are at their best when they compete at USARPAC Best Warrior Competition later this year.