(REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala.) -- A total of 13 competitors from across the Army Materiel Command enterprise participated in the AMC Best Warrior Competition July 9-10.
Due to COVID-19 travel limitations, the 10 noncommissioned officers and three Soldiers did not gather for a traditional week-long competition. Instead, Soldiers competed at their individual units and those winners advanced to a virtual competition board hosted from AMC headquarters. The board consisted of a records review and questions from subject areas such as Army leadership, land navigation and NCO duties, responsibilities and authorities.
Staff Sgt. Debra Stokes from Army Contracting Command at Fort Riley, Kansas, was named AMC NCO of the Year, and Staff Sgt. Jason Simmons from ACC at Caserma Ederle, Italy, was named runner-up.
Spc. Francisco Gutierrez from Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command at Fort Eustis, Virginia, was named the AMC Soldier of the Year, and Spc. Jariel Fuentes from U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command at Letterkenny Army Depot, Pennsylvania, was named runner-up.
Command Sgt. Rodger Mansker, AMC’s senior enlisted leader, said this year’s competition was one of the tightest he has seen in his four years at AMC.
“That level of competition shows the commitment of our units to prepare their Soldiers by providing them with the very best training and challenges. In turn, preparing their Soldiers for the competition makes their entire unit and our Army better and stronger,” said Mansker.
It was important to have an AMC-level Best Warrior Competition, even if limited by COVID-19, he said.
“We should always showcase the quality of our Soldiers and NCOs, and challenge them to be even better. The Best Warrior Competition allows us to grow our Soldiers and NCOs. It also provides examples of the best our Army has to offer,” said Mansker.
Other competitors were:
• Sgt. 1st Class Arturo Arellano, U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama
• Sgt. 1st Class Johnsie Little, SDDC, Kaiserslautern, Germany
• Sgt. 1st Class Michael Thurman, Army Sustainment Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois
• Staff Sgt. Michael Kelly, AMCOM, Fort Rucker, Alabama
• Staff Sgt. Kathlyn Stewart, ACC, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
• Staff Sgt. Ryan Sullivan, ASC, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois
• Staff Sgt. Diamonte Webb, ASC, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait
• Sgt. Cody Cohen, AMCOM, Letterkenny Army Depot, Pennsylvania
• Cpl. Jackie Hernandez, AMCOM, Corpus Christi Army Depot, Texas
The Best Warrior Competition awards will be presented at the Soldiers’ units, and the AMC-level winners will advance to compete at the Army level.
“These Soldiers and NCOs -- those who competed, those who won and those who assisted in their training for the AMC-level competition -- are better today because of the Best Warrior Competition,” Mansker said. “This is not only about choosing our best Soldiers, but it's about making all the Soldiers in their units better at being Soldiers and performing their mission.”