FORT JACKSON, SC -- Sgt. 1st Class Larry Brown, a small group leader for the NCO Academy Senior Leader Course, was recently named the Soldier Support Institute's NCO of the Year.

Though Brown is an avid sportsman - he is a competitive triathlete and 5K runner, bowler and mountain biker - it took more than his physical strength to win the competition.

"I tried not to think about whether I would win or not, just to have a good performance and represent the NCO Academy to the best of my ability," he said.

Brown moved on to the SSI-wide competition after being named NCO of the Quarter for the second quarter. The one-day competition included Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills, weapons qualification and a formal board in front of the SSI command sergeant major.

Competitors had to be proficient in 37 different skills, in addition to having a proven track record in their military occupational specialty. Brown is a 79R, which makes him a recruiter NCO.

The competition is based on the "total Soldier concept," which means every facet of the NCO, including military bearing, professionalism and basic military skills, is being judged.

"I think it's a good experience for noncomommissioned officers to prepare and compete for (these boards) because it keeps us deeply rooted in the NCO doctrine," he said. "We use that doctrinal knowledge in our day-to-day functions as NCOs."

Brown will go on to compete in the Combined Arms Support Command and Sustainment Center of Excellence NCO Competition at Fort Lee, Va. later this month.

Brown said he is excited about the opportunity.

"I am excited to compete at the next level and represent the Soldier Support Institute."