FORT STEWART, Ga. – Sgt. Hunter Davidson, an infantryman assigned to 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, won the 2021 XVIII Airborne Corps Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Competition on Wednesday, June 23 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Four noncommissioned officers went head-to-head with one competitor from four of the XVIII Airborne Corps divisions: the 3rd Infantry Division, the 10th Mountain Division, the 82nd Airborne Division and the 101st Air Assault Division. The competition included but was not limited to the new Army Combat Fitness Test, an obstacle course, land navigation, medical lanes, a 16-mile ruck with warrior skills tasks and battle drill questions.
Davidson, a 24-year-old from Covington, Georgia, commented that the first day of the competition started early at approximately 4 a.m. and ended at 11:30 p.m., but the second day was even more strenuous.
“The second day was probably the hardest ruck I think I’ve done in my Army career,” said Davidson. “My watch had me just shy of 19 miles total for that day including the ruck and stations together.”
Davidson pushed past the competition in the first day with the day-into-night land navigation test.
“I had all five points completed in one hour and 10 minutes and was back to the start point at one and 20 minutes. I was done before nightfall even came about with the next competitor behind me with approximately 45 minutes in time,” said Davidson. “I definitely think I separated myself at that point.”
To be able to go to the 2021 XVIII Airborne Corps NCOY Competition, Davidson had to win at the brigade and division levels. He is proud to represent the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team and 3rd Infantry Division.
“It’s a huge opportunity not just to represent 2nd Brigade but also 3rd Infantry Division and all of Fort Stewart. It’s a great honor,” said Davidson. “There was great competition at the division level to get here.”
When asked about his future goals, Davidson was laser-focused with his sights set on the next competition level at U.S. Army Forces Command.
“So next we got FORSCOM probably in the next month or so, and we’ll just go from there,” said Davidson. “I’m set on the 50-meter target to bring home the FORSCOM championship as well for 3rd Infantry Division and 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment.”
Davidson described what the competition meant to him personally. “To be recognized on such a big level because XVIII Airborne Corps has approximately 90,000 Soldiers and to be recognized as one of the top Soldiers as the number one NCO is pretty humbling,” said Davidson.
“The Spartan Brigade is extremely proud of Sgt. Davidson and all that he has accomplished,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Lopez, the senior noncommissioned officer of 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID. “Sgt. Davidson represents the best of the NCO Corps and is an inspiration for present and future 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID and XVIII Airborne Corps NCOs.”