After three days and nights of competing, two Fort Meade service members came out on top in the 21st Signal Brigade's NCO and Soldier of the Year competition.

The competition was held Feb. 28 to March 2 at Camp Dawson in West Virginia.

Sgt. Amber L. Lengele, a combat production/documentation specialist from 55th Signal Company (Combat Camera), 114th Signal Battalion at Fort Meade, was named NCO of the Year.

Spc. Christopher A. Ludeking, a satellite communication systems operator/maintainer from the 327th Signal Company, 302nd Signal Battalion at Fort Meade, was named Soldier of the Year.

They will represent the 21st Signal Brigade at the 7th Signal Command (Theater) NCO and Soldier of the Year competition at Fort Gordon, Ga., at the end of April.

The 21st Signal Brigade is charged to provide and defend global information capabilities to enable joint and combined battle command across the full spectrum of operations from the president of the United States to the war fighter and other federal agencies.

The brigade is geographically dispersed across the United States at eight installations, stationed in Central and South America, deployed to Southwest Asia, and supports national, strategic and tactical missions worldwide.

The challenging, three-day competition included five other competitors who represented subordinate units within the 21st Signal Brigade. All who competed were the best from the first, second, third and fourth NCO and Soldier of the Quarter boards.

The NCO quarterly winners included Staff Sgt. Carla A. Philpot, a chaplain assistant from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 21st Signal Brigade, at Fort Detrick and Sgt. Kedrick T. Nelson, a senior satellite communication systems operator/maintainer from 298th Signal Company, 302nd Signal Battalion, at Fort Detrick.

The quarterly winners in the Soldier category included Spc. Kimberly N. Trumbull, a combat production/documentation specialist, from 55th Combat Camera; Pfc. Carl Singleton III, an automated logistics specialist from 525th Signal Company, 56th Signal Battalion, in Miami; and Cpl. Shaun J. Lawson Jr., an information technology specialist from Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 56th Signal Battalion, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

The winners of the NCO and Soldier of the Year competition were chosen based on their overall performance in events that included the Army Physical Fitness Test, an administrative board appearance in service dress uniform before a panel of brigade senior NCOs, a written examination, a written essay on the topic of retention, three randomly selected Army Warrior Tasks, a daytime land-navigation course, a weapons challenge using the EST 2000 simulator and a map reading event.

The competition culminated with an Army combatives tournament.

The combined challenges allowed participants to show their proficiencies and skills as "Best Warrior" by being well-rounded in all training events -- not just a subject matter expert in one category.

Lengele, a native of Olympia, Wash., entered the Army in August 2007. She has deployed to Afghanistan and recently made cutoff score to be promoted to staff sergeant.

Ludeking, who was born in Sioux City, Iowa, joined the Army in March 2010.

Both Lengele and Ludeking received the Army Commendation Medal for winning the competition.