Local Alaska community members honored U.S. Army PacificAca,!a,,cs 2009 Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Staff Sgt. Neftali Bonilla, of Task Force 49, U.S. Army Alaska, at a luncheon Aug. 13, at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

The aviation safety NCO was recognized during the U.S. Army Alaska Soldier and NCO of the Quarter luncheon for his efforts in being named USARAK's NCO of the Year following a warrior skills competition in May.

Bonilla, originally from Denton, Texas, competed at various levels against other top NCOs before his selection as the NCO of the Year. Board members were senior NCOs from throughout the command. Competitors were judged on their military bearing and appearance and on their answers to questions on various topics, ranging from weapons and training to current events.

Following his selection as the NCO of the Quarter for Task Force 49 in March 2009 and Fort Wainwright NCO of the Quarter in April, Bonilla competed in and was named USARAK NCO of the Year at Fort Richardson, Alaska.

As USARAK's NCO of the Year, he represented Alaska at the USARPAC Warrior Challenge competition held at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, in June. After a grueling competition against USARPAC's best, he was selected as U.S. Army Pacific's NCO of the Year for 2009.

The Department of the Army Best Warrior competition is set for Sept. 28 - Oct. 3.

"This is the final competition and will probably be the toughest one yet," Bonilla said. "I can assure you whether we win or not, our competitors will know U.S. Army Alaska's Soldiers are a force to be reckoned with."