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NEWS | April 3, 2023

Army Reserve NCO takes silver at 99th Readiness Division Best Warrior Competition

By Sgt. 1st Class Deziree Lau 99th Readiness Division

 Sgt. Emily Newsome of the U.S. Army Reserve's 198th Army Band was named runner-up Noncommissioned Officer of the Year for the 99th Readiness Division during an award ceremony here March 30 following a week-long Best Warrior Competition.

“I decided to compete because I wanted to challenge myself and want to gain as much experience as I can as a Soldier,” said Newsome, who hails from Middleburgh, New York.

The competition is comprised of Soldiers who demonstrate commitment to the Army Values, embody the Warrior Ethos, and represent the Force of the Future.

As for the competition itself, Soldiers tested their physical and mental fortitude over the course of six days, facing events including the Army Combat Fitness Test, simulated weapons qualification, land navigation, Field Training Exercise, Ruck March, written examination and an appearance board.

"When our Soldiers compete in these types of events, there are two things they gain from it - competence and confidence," explained Command Sgt. Maj. Subretta Pompey, 99th RD command sergeant major. "That is very important, especially for leaders; it makes a difference when you have a leader in front of you who is competent and confident."

During the competition, Soldiers were also challenged with tasks that could have earned them the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge or the Army Excellence in Competition - Pistol Marksmanship.

“Being in the Army Reserve contributes to my leadership skills and builds the confidence I have in my capabilities as an individual,” shared Newsome, who is a clarinet player with the 198th Army Band, but she’s more than a musician in the unit - Newsome volunteered to become a certified combat life saver and is certified to drive both a high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle and a light medium tactical vehicle.

“Being one of the competitors provides me the opportunity to be ready and able to serve my country and support fellow Soldiers in a different capacity than my military occupation,” she added.

Newsome’s short-term goal is to promote to staff sergeant and continue her Army career.

For more information about Army careers and opportunities, visit