Army announces winners of prestigious 2022 competition awards

By U.S. Army Public AffairsOctober 10, 2022

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WASHINGTON — Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston announced the winners of the 2022 Best Squad Competition during a live presentation at the Association of the United States Army annual meeting in Arlington, Va. The 2022 U.S. Army award winners are:

  • U.S. Army Best Squad — U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Staff Sgt. Devon Simpson; Sgt. Jonathan Warren; Spc. Coy Anderson; Spc. Jake Reichman; Spc. Nathan Wallen
  • Best Squad Competition NCO of the Year — Sgt. Garret Paulson, U.S. Army Medical Command
  • Best Squad Competition Soldier of the Year — Spc. Samuel Alavarez, U.S. Army Forces Command

Previously announced 2022 Army competition winners:

  • Drill Sergeant of the Year — Staff Sgt. Krista Osborne, 3rd Chemical Brigade, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
  • Regular Army Recruiting NCO of the Year — Staff Sgt. Noel Daker, U.S. Army 3rd Recruiting Brigade.
  • Reserve Recruiting NCO of the Year — Sgt. 1st Class Giovanna Avila, U.S. Army 2nd Recruiting Brigade

“The foundation of readiness is the individual Soldier and the small unit — from the team and squad levels,” said Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. James C. McConville. “The best units in the world ensure their individuals and small units are masters of their craft. If you don’t have a solid foundation of readiness, you won’t have agility. You’ll never be able to execute graduate-level operations.”

The Best Squad Competition for NCO and Soldier of the Year recognizes the Squad and Soldiers who demonstrate commitment to the Army values, embody the Squad ethos and represent the force of the future. The Army’s top Squads compete at locations around the world during this annual competition. Teams first compete in subordinate competitions, and then the finalists compete for the titles U.S. Army Best Squad, Soldier of the Year and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

The Drill Sergeant of the Year competition is hosted by the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training, the initial-entry training core function lead for U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. It is one of the most physically demanding and mentally tough challenges any Soldier can face in a U.S. Army competition. For four days, the competitors must perform and master all associated tasks and drills from Basic Combat Training. To win, they must not only be experts in training Soldiers, but also be the best of the best and rise above the competition.

The Recruiter of the Year awards are presented to Soldiers who are judged to be the top recruiters in their respective categories. Representing U.S. Army Recruiting Command's six recruiting brigades, they compete to demonstrate their knowledge and professionalism. Competitors complete an Army physical fitness test and deliver presentations before the USAREC command sergeant major and all brigade command sergeants major.

The Career Counselor of the Year competition includes significant physical and mental challenges in which each competitor is graded according to Army standards. This includes completion of the Army Combat Fitness Test, a 50-question multiple-choice exam, a 750-word essay on a chosen topic and a variety of board appearances. Scoring is decided through the culmination of commanders’ evaluations and recommendations.