FORT HOOD, Texas - U.S. Army Forces Command announced Sgt. Hunter Wilson as the FORSCOM Noncommissioned Officer of the Year yesterday at Fort Riley, Kansas. Wilson, of Luck, Wisconsin, previously won the Fort Hood Best Warrior Competition on June 30 along with Spc. Matthew Yates.
The FORSCOM Best Warrior Competition was held Aug. 2-6 at Fort Riley, Kansas. The top junior and senior enlisted soldiers from across all of the 750,000-strong FORSCOM competed in several events, testing their fundamental soldier skills and embodying the warrior ethos.
Yates, of Culpeper, Virginia, placed runner-up in the soldier category of the competition, missing the top spot by just 10 points.
"I definitely want to compete again for the noncommissioned officer category," said Yates. "I missed it by 10 points out of a possible 600. Second place isn't good enough for me," he said.
Wilson and Yates said FORSCOM ran a tight competition, purposely keeping them in the dark throughout the events so they could not gauge where their fellow competitors were placed as the days progressed.
"I felt extremely prepared for the competition, and FORSCOM did a really good job keeping our points standings in the dark throughout the competition," said Yates. "My favorite event was the react to a chemical agent event. They put us in a tent and threw a gas canister in there. They didn't give us directions, so we just had to figure it out."
Wilson agreed the competition was both fair and tough.
"The toughest event for me was the obstacle course. Before that, we had to take a physical fitness assessment, then road march," he said. "After that was the obstacle course, and I was smoked."
When asked how he felt hearing his name announced as the winner, Wilson had mixed feelings.
"I was in disbelief and shock. We were all so close in the points, I was honestly surprised when I heard my name," said Wilson. "We were all so close in points that we thought a few of us were going to be it, but I couldn't believe it when I heard it."
Wilson's and Yates' performance at the Fort Hood and FORSCOM Best Warrior Competitions is validates 3d Cavalry Regiment's hard work over the last year.
Last fall, Fort Hood launched Operation People First, an enduring campaign aimed at cultivating fit, disciplined, highly trained, cohesive teams led by engaged leaders. Both Wilson and Yates serve together in the same section of the same troop within 4th Squadron, 3d Cavalry Regiment.
"The fact these two troopers are from the same troop is amazing," said Command Sgt. Maj. Shade Munday, the 3d Cavalry Regiment command sergeant major. "We've put a lot of time into building cohesive teams in the regiment and these troopers are proof that what we're doing is working," he said.
Wilson will represent FORSCOM at the Army Best Warrior Competition in September.