FORT LEE, Va. -- Soldiers participating in the Soldier/NCO of the Year competition had to rely on their personal experience when they tackled the written exam portion of the competition here today.

"We are trying to find out if the competitors are capable of articulating their opinion in written form," said Sgt. Maj. Alice A. Dallman, overall coordinator for the Soldier/NCO of the Year competition. "There are no wrong answers. It's not about quantity. It's about quality."

The exam consists of 20 essay questions formulated by the Sergeants Major Academy, a service the school has rendered for the competition the last four years straight, according to Dallman.

Each question must be answered with a thesis, supporting facts based on experiences and a conclusion within the one-hour time limit.

"The Soldiers are limited only by virtue of what they've experienced," she added.
Competitors will finish the third day of competition with day and night land navigation courses.