FORT EUSTIS, Va. – On August 19, after a week of grueling competition, two Fort Eustis Soldiers earned the distinction of being named the installation’s Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year.
Staff Sgt. Juan Martinez, an Aircraft Structural Repairer from 1st Battalion 222d Aviation Regiment, was named the Fort Eustis NCO of the Year, and Spc. Joseph Twomey, a Cargo Specialist with the 7th Transportation Brigade, was named the Soldier of the Year.
The competition, ran by the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training, evaluated competitors on their physical conditioning, Warrior Tasks & Battle Drills, land navigation, weapons proficiency, board performance and personal appearance throughout the four-day competition.
For Martinez, winning NCO of the Year was especially rewarding after recently competing in the Army’s Drill Sergeant of the Year competition at Fort Jackson.
“After competing at the Drill Sergeant of the Year competition, I knew I had unfinished business and wanted to prove to myself my true potential,” said Martinez. “That’s why I decided to compete in the Fort Eustis competition, but I know the hard work doesn’t stop here at being the best NCO possible.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Beeson, the USACIMT senior enlisted leader, said regardless of the final results, every Soldier and NCO that competed came out better than they were before the competition and that he hopes their actions can positively affect their peers.
“Competition brings out the best in our Soldiers,” said Beeson. “I was extremely impressed with all of these Soldiers and NCOs and I expect them to bring that same competitive mentality back to their units and help make them a stronger formation.”
Twomey said he understands the expectations placed on him after winning Soldier of the Year.
“It’s an honor to win this competition and a great opportunity for me to continue to challenge myself and make that next step as an NCO and leader,” said Twomey.