FORT CARSON, Colo. — Soldiers across the Ivy Division competed for the Fourth Infantry Division’s Soldier of the Year and Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year on July 20.

The two-day competition required soldiers to complete the Army Combat Fitness Test, an obstacle course at Mabry Mile, swim test, weapons skills test, land navigation, medical lanes, a 12-mile ruck and a board.

All competitors were winners of Soldier and NCO of the quarter for all four quarters throughout 2022.

Pfc. Austin Wines, with 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, won Soldier of the Year.

“It always feels good to win but it also feels good to do a competition like this where you really get to assess where you are physically and mentally,” said Wines.

Wines graduated Basic Combat Training and became an infantryman in July 2020 then he came to Fort Carson as his first duty station. Moving forward, Wines plans to go to Ranger School to earn his tab.

“The competition was good; the NCOs kept me on my toes; they motivated me to put my all into everything,” said Wines.

FORT CARSON, Colo. — Staff Sgt. Jesus Tapia, with 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4th Division Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, completes the Army Combat Fitness Test for the Best Soldier/noncommissioned officer competition at Fort Carson July 20, 2022. The Best Soldier competition consisted of a variety of events which tested the competitors on their abilities to perform Army warrior tasks. (Photo by Sgt. Woodlyne Escarne)

Staff Sgt. Jesus Tapia, with 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4th Division Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, won NCO of the Year.

“I’m feeling emotionally high,” said Tapia. “All my preparation and my hard work I’ve done within the last two days was worth it, and I’m really happy.”

The event was physically and mentally draining for junior soldiers and the NCOs who competed alongside each other.

“The competitors showcased different strengths and weaknesses, and I’ve learned as I competed alongside them,” said Tapia. “Overall, I was happy to show the board that I was the NCO of the Year.”

The new NCO of the Year faced intense competition but was excited after coming out victorious.