Eleven Kentucky Soldiers compete for top honors

VHV

Story and photo by Sgt. Paul Evans, Headquarters Headquarters Company 103rd

Competitors for 2011 Soldier of the Year line up alongside their respective brigade sergeant majorsduring the Soldier of the Year competition’s closing ceremony at Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, Ky., Nov. 21.

GREENVILLE, Ky. (Nov.17, 2010)—“Whatever you do…do it as well as you possibly can,” said Command Sgt. Maj. David Munden to the competitors of the 2011 Kentucky National Guard  Soldier of the Year competition Nov. 19.

Eleven of Kentucky’s finest did just that in an attempt to win the top-honor for Kentucky’s enlisted at Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center Nov. 19-21.

After three days of competition, the winners are:

•             Soldier of the Year: Spc. Kelly Burch,1123rd Sapper Company

•             Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Staff Sgt. Jess Willard, Alpha Company, 149th Brigade Support Battalion

•             Senior NCO of the Year: 1st Sgt. Christopher Morgan,   Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry

The Soldiers represented the best of their brigades. Soldiers completed basic Army Warrior Tasks, an Army Physical Fitness Test, weapons qualifications and essay writing. The weekend concluded with an interview and inspection by a board of three sergeant majors.

2011 Senior NCO of the Year 1st Sgt. Christopher Morgan, NCO of the Year Staff Sgt. Jess Willard, and Soldier of the Year Spc. Kelly Burch display their trophies at Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, Ky., Nov. 21 during the competition awards ceremony.

“Many late nights looking in my study guide, doing some PT and weapons training,” Willard said lead him to a successful victory.

The winning Soldiers will be recognized at the annual Outstanding Soldier and Airman the Year banquet in March.

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