FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- A noncommissioned officer from 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, recently achieved runnerup in the XVIII Airborne Corps 2011 NCO of the Year Competition at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Before Staff Sgt. Douglas A. Milne, from Nathalie, Va., could compete at Fort Bragg, he had to win the 10th Mountain Division competition. Milne serves as a squad leader for Scout Platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4-31 Infantry.

Milne first was named NCO of the Month and then NCO of the Quarter at local boards here. He then competed against NCOs from across the division.

After winning NCO of the Year for 10th Mountain Division (LI), Milne moved on to Fort Bragg and competed against nine other NCOs from across XVIII Airborne Corps.

During this year's competition at Fort Bragg, NCOs were tested on various warrior tasks, weapons qualification, the Army Physical Fitness Test, day and night urban orienteering, uniform inspection, an essay test and a written examination testing their knowledge of military leadership and Army programs.

Milne joined the Army in June 2006 and completed training at Fort Benning, Ga., to begin his career as an infantryman. He is a graduate of the Ranger, Airborne and Air Assault schools. Milne has earned both the Expert and Combat Infantryman’s badges.

He joined 4-31 Infantry in April 2009, coming from 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment at Fort Benning. He has completed two combat deployments " one to Iraq and one to Kosovo.

Milne’s philosophy as an NCO is a simple one: “A great leader always puts his Soldiers and their Families’ needs ahead of his own,” he said.

“I use every opportunity I have to train and teach my Soldiers battle drills. I put my Soldiers in leadership positions, to help them prepare for when they become leaders. I recommend to any upcoming NCOs to take as much time as needed for self-development,” he said.

Milne said he was thankful for the chance to compete for the honor of XVIII Airborne Corps NCO of the Year.

“This was a great opportunity given to me by my chain of command to represent all NCOs of the 10th Mountain Division,” he said.

Milne’s short-term Army goals are to attend Pathfinder School and to deploy with 4-31 Infantry.