Two Soldiers were formally recognized as winners of the Fort Hood Best Warrior Competition, a competition highlighting the best noncommissioned officer and Soldier of the year, during a ceremony conducted Monday at the III Corps Headquarters.
Sgt. 1st Class Ashlee Ibarra, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, was the NCO winner of the Fort Hood Best Warrior, and Spc. Jaylin Allen, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, was the Soldier winner of the Fort Hood Best Warrior.
Both were presented gifts from local organizations. The following organizations were unable to attend, but had gifts presented on their behalf. Retired Sgt. Maj. Mark Cook, representing USAA presented both a check for $100 gift card, a multi-tool, and a USAA coin. Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Turner, from EFS, donated two sets of eye protection and a gift card. Randy Hardin from the GEICO office of Killeen provided each winner with a $100 gift card. The Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce presented each winner a check for $100.
Jackie Hare, representing Central Texas College, presented both a certificate and gift card to the school’s bookstore. Fernando Fernandez, representing Fort Hood National Bank, presented each a $100 gift card. Peter Beronio, from the Killeen Chamber of Commerce, presented both a blanket and a coin. Eileen Walcik, of the Texas Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, presented both a certificate and a check for $200. Byron Rogers, of First Command Financial Services, presented Ibarra an NCO sword, and Allen with a sabre. Retired Maj. Gen. Ken Cox, representing AUSA, presented both an AUSA membership, the new “pinks and greens” Army Service Uniform, an all-expense paid trip to AUSA Nationals in Washington, D.C., and the use of a new vehicle for one year.
Ibarra and Allen participated in a unique best warrior competition this year, as it was a virtual competition where senior enlisted leaders from across III Corps judged packets that spanned from the Soldiers’ basic training to present day.
Command Sgt. Maj. Cliff Burgoyne, III Corps and Fort Hood senior enlisted advisor, commended the two Soldiers for their, thus far, stellar careers, and gave them two directives.
“Your job now is two things,” Burgoyne said. “One, is to win the FORSCOM board. And then two, is to educate your Soldiers and motivate them to sit there next year. That’s your duty. Congratulations to both of you, and I look forward to seeing both of you in the winner’s circle at FORSCOM.”