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    Fort Hood recognizes base NCO and Soldier of the Year

    Fort Hood recognizes base Soldier and NCO of the Year

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Michael Folkerth | Sgt. Joshua Graffio and Spc. Austin Edwards, the 2015 Fort Hood Soldier and...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Michael Folkerth 

    4th Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Leaders from across Fort Hood gathered together to recognize and award the Fort Hood Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the year at the Phantom Warrior Center, Oct. 2, 2015.

    Sgt. Joshua Graffio, an infantryman from 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, was named the NCO of the year. Spc. Austin Edwards, a M1 armor crewman from 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div., was name the Soldier of the year.

    These two soldiers earned their respective titles while competing in the III Corps Best Warrior Competition held on June 23-26, 2015. The four-day competition tested competitor’s general Army skills such as urban warfare simulations, board interviews, and Warrior tasks and battle drills.

    “The hardest part of the competition for me was the weapon familiarization,” said Graffio. “Being part of a Bradley team, we didn’t have a lot of the weapons used in the competition for me to become familiar with beforehand.”

    Edwards agreed with Graffio, saying the weapons were his biggest challenge too. For any potential competitors next year, he recommended they ensure to take the initiative to learn about weapons or skills they are unfamiliar with rather than relying solely upon their unit’s regular training.

    Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Graves, the battalion CSM of the 1-12 CAV, 3ABCT, said it was an honor to have one of his Soldiers being named as the NCO of the Year.

    “Seeing him prepare for the competition, helping him out, and watching the changes as he progressed as a Soldier and a leader throughout the entire process has been great,” commented Graves.

    Graffio said the best things about the competition were the good-natured relationships he and his fellow competitors shared.

    “Although this was a competition, there was no ill will between any of us,” Graffio said. “We had good relations and good camaraderie the whole time. Yes, we were performing individual events, but the days were long and exhausting so we worked together to get through it.”

    Aside from the prestige of the titles, Graffio and Edwards were also awarded over $2000 in checks and gifts donated by military and local organizations such as the Killeen Chamber of Commerce, Central Texas College, the Association of the United States Army, etc.

    “Overall it [the competition] was a great event that stressed each competitor to a healthy level,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Akuna, the Task Force Phantom CSM. “I think that it gave each of the competitors a self assessment of how far they could push themselves to accomplish the mission.”



    Date Taken: 10.02.2015
    Date Posted: 10.05.2015 14:57
    Story ID: 178165
    Location: FORT HOOD, TX, US 

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