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3-2 SBCT soldier named FORSCOM NCO of the Year

Reconnaissance team leader Staff Sgt. Peter Kacapyr now heads to Dept. of the Army competition

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Peter Kacapyr, a reconnaissance team leader with 2-3 Infantry Regiment, 3-2 SBCT, won the FORSCOM NCO of the Year competition at Fort Bragg. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Justin A. Naylor

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One outstanding Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier is back on base and back to work, but in less than a month he will compete to become the Department of the Army's Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

Staff Sgt. Peter Kacapyr, who was named the I Corps' NCO of the Year in June, was recently announced as a winner during the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) Soldier/NCO of the Year Competition at Fort Bragg, N.C. Kacapyr is reconnaissance team leader assigned to Headquarters Co., 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

"Even from the brigade level I was surprised that I could pull it off," shared Kacapyr, who has his Ranger tab and has deployed three times with a Ranger battalion. "But I was excited to move forward."

At this most recent level, six NCOs and six soldiers, who represented the First Army, I Corps, III Corps and Fort Hood, XVIII Airborne Corps, the 32nd Army Air & Missile Defense Command, National Training Center/Fort Irwin, and Joint Readiness Training Center, respectively, competed over a four-day span to earn the titles(s) of FORSCOM NCO/Soldier of the Year.

"I had no idea how I was doing," he said. "I had a lot of time to talk with the other competitors throughout the competition but they were all really good soldiers, so it was hard to tell who was ahead."

The event included a board interview, road march, obstacle course, written exam and warrior tasks such as land navigation. While these are all standard practices for soldiers, there was an element of surprise since each event was revealed only after the completion of the previous task. Furthermore, the PT test was administered on the final day when the soldiers were already tired.

"By the end I guessed I was in the top two because I felt like I was strong in the events - and especially because my brigade commander had flown out the night before. So I figured I was somewhat ahead for him to make the trip," joked Kacapyr.

Competing alongside Kacapyr, but in the soldier category, was a fellow JBLM servicemember, Pfc. Nicholas Jackson, who happens to be in the same platoon. The two were able to train together before the Ft. Bragg trip. Though Jackson did not place, Kacapyr was quick to note how impressed he was with the younger soldier who has actually only been in the Army for 18 months.

All four of the winners, including Kacapyr, will head to the Department of the Army NCO/Soldier of the Year competition Oct. 6-10 at Ft. Lee.

"It is going to be very hard - there were tough components at this event so I assume it is going to harder," Kacapyr admitted. "I will study and train like before and hopefully I can bring home this honor."

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