WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 10, 2006) - Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth Preston named Spc. John Emmett and Sgt. 1st Class Jason Alexander Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting Oct. 9.

The announcement follows the five-day Warrior Competition held at Fort Lee, Va., last week.

Alexander serves with the 3rd Army Area Support Group in Camp Arifijan, Kuwait, and represented U.S. Army Forces Command.

Emmett serves with 21st Theater Support Command in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and represented U.S. Army, Europe.

"These Soldiers - not only the winners but all the competitors - represent the best of what our Army has to offer," said Preston. "They come from different backgrounds and different military occupational specialties, but this competition put them on an even field. Our Army needs flexible, adaptive leaders. Each one of them is a solid professional who is dedicated to defending the United States of America. As part of the Army team, they are all winners."

The competition is based on a series of competitions through which winners advance to subsequent levels all the way to the final Army-wide competition. Competition events ranged from urban warfare simulations and combat first aid to day and night urban orientation courses.

"It's a very dynamic competition and they expect a lot from you," said Emmett. "You need to be book smart and hands-on smart."

Alexander's key motivator was the desire to be a good role model for his Soldiers.

"I feel excellent, and I have a great respect and humility to the Soldiers I competed with," he said after the competition.

According to Preston, both Soldiers performed consistently well throughout the competition, achieving first place in most events.

Beyond bragging rights, the Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year will receive a variety of honors from military associations and Army retirees. They will also make special appearances at events throughout the upcoming year, including January's All-American Bowl.