DAHLONEGA - Sgt. First Class David Smith, a military science instructor at the University of North Georgia (UNG), will compete in the U.S. Army Best Warrior Competition in October after winning Non-commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year competitions at both the brigade and division level.<br />
Smith won U.S. Army Cadet Command's five-day NCO of the Year competition at Fort Knox, Kentucky, in late July against sergeants first class from Cadet Command's other eight brigades. It marks the third year in a row that a military science instructor from UNG has won at the Cadet Command level, which oversees Army ROTC programs at 250 colleges and universities across the nation.<br />
He repeated his success on Aug. 8 by winning the weeklong U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) competition at Fort Eustis, Virginia. TRADOC is the command responsible for training the U.S. Army at all levels.<br />
It marks the first time that a UNG instructor will be participating in the Best Warrior Competition, which could feature up to 23 competitors representing the U.S. Army's Forces Command, Materiel Command, Special Operations Command, Strategic Command, Corps of Engineers, Intelligence and Security Command, Reserve, West Point, Medical Command, and service components from around the world such as forces deployed in Africa, Europe and the Pacific.<br />
Smith, who hails from Dillon, South Carolina, joined the Army in 2001 as a tank loader and gunner and had been deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait and stationed on bases in Kentucky, Georgia and Alaska before his assignment to UNG.<br />
In a separate honor, Smith also has been inducted into the Audie Murphy Club, which requires nominees to go through a series of boards at brigade, battalion and cadet command. Established in 1986 at Fort Hood, Texas, the Audie Murphy Club honors NCOs who show excellence and genuine concern for their soldiers and their community. The club is named after the World War II Congressional Medal of Honor winner who went on to a successful career as an actor.
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