June 2, 2010

Virginia troops compete in regional Soldier of the Year/Noncommissioned Officer of the Year competition

By Capt. Matt Nowak
Virginia Army Guard Public Affairs

FORT PICKETT, Va. — Spc. George Arvan was named runner-up for regional National Guard Soldier of the Year in a four-day competition May 13-16 at Camp Dawson, W.Va.

 

Spc. George Arvan was named runner up for regional National Guard Soldier of the Year in a four-day competition May 13-16 at Camp Dawson, W.Va. (Photo by Command Sgt. Maj. Carl Holcomb, Virginia Army National Guard)

Arvan, a Spotsylvania resident assigned to Headquarters Company, 29th Infantry Division as a fire support specialist, received special acknowledgement from the Assistant Adjutant General of West Virginia for his accomplishment. Arvan will be on stand-by for the national competition in case the winner cannot compete.

Chesapeake resident, Sgt. Lionel Blair, a human resource sergeant assigned to 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Brigade Combat Team, competed in the noncommissioned officer competition.

“The competition was challenging and both of Virginia's Soldiers performed admirably,” Command Sgt. Maj. Carl Holcomb, the Virginia state command sergeant major, said. “Sgt. Lionel Blair and Spc. George Arvan represented their state well and are commended for the way they performed.”

Each competitor was put through a battery of physical and mental tests. Competitors began at 5 a.m. on day one of the competition with an Army Physical Fitness Test followed by individual weapons qualification, and land navigation. Each competitor awoke at 4 a.m. on day three to complete a six-mile ruck march with a 40-pound rucksack.

After the first day each participant completed a number of Warrior Tasks and ended the day in the pool with a Combat Water Survival test. The final day of the competition allowed the competitors to test their knowledge on a number of military subjects ranging from supply and maintenance to military customs and courtesies. They each appeared before a formal board of command sergeants major, in dress uniform, where they were scored on appearance and their ability to correctly answer questions from selected military categories.

Five states participated in the competition with five noncommissioned officers and five Soldiers from West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

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