Gurley Native Named Best Warrior Soldier of the Year

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The U.S. Army Reserve Command named Spc. Michael Swan 2012 Army Reserve Best Warrior Soldier of the Year this week during the 2012 Best Warrior Competition.  He is a native of Gurley.

Spc. Swan represented the 335th Signal Command in the competition.  He will now represent the Army Reserve in the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition in October at Fort Lee, Virginia.  He was among 43 NCOs and soldiers competing.

Swan said he had to take a breath when they called his name.

“That was a deep gasp after they said, ‘Michael Swan’,” he said. “I was pretty struck by that.

Swan said he plans on focusing on any shortcoming he had during the Army Reserve competition and working on making those events better for him at the Department of the Army competition.

“That’s what I’m going to work on,” Swan said. “Whatever they throw at me, I’m going to come out there to the next level and bring myself up physically and mentally.”

The award ceremony was held Friday night at the American Legion near Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey W. Talley, left, Chief of the Army Reserve, and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael D. Schultz, right, Command Sergeant Major of the Army Reserve, pose with Spc. Michael Swan, the Army Reserve Soldier of the Year at the 2012 Army Reserve Best Warrior competition.
Photo Courtesy: U.S. Army Reserve Command

Also honored during the ceremony was Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Rios, who was named  the 2012 Army Reserve Best Warrior Non-commissioned Officer of the Year.  A Corrections Specialist, Rios is a native of Ozone Park, N.Y. Rios represented the 84th Training Command in the competition.

The 21 NCOs and 22 junior enlisted Soldiers spent the week on a variety of Army challenges that tested the limits of their physical and mental capabilities to include:  Army Physical Fitness Test, night land navigation, urban orienteering, weapons qualifications, Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills, 10km ruck march, written exam and essay, a sergeants major board appearance, and a Modern Army Combatives tournament.