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First woman named army’s best warrior

by Jorge Hernandez on October 26, 2010

For the first time in its eight-year history, a woman has won the 2010 Best Warrior Competition in Fort Lee, Virginia. Sherri Jo Gallagher was named Army Soldier of the Year at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting in Washington D.C., reports Arizona's The Daily Courier.

Two dozen soldiers from 12 major Army commands around the world participated in the five-day long competition. In order to be eligible, all soldiers had to have won the title of Soldier or Non-commissioned Officer of the Year within their individual command.

Gallagher, a 26-year-old from Prescott, Arizona, is an instructor/shooter with the Army's Marksmanship Unit. She has been in the army for two years and has represented U.S. Army Training and Document Command. Gallagher said the most difficult part of the competition was the preparation. "There was a lot of preparation that was put into this and it's just a huge honor to be able to be named as the best warrior for the soldiers," she told CNN.

Called the "SuperBowl of army competitions", the contest included physical fitness tests, land navigation exercises and, warrior tasks and battle drills as well as board interviews with various scenarios soldiers had to use their mental abilities to solve.

"The difficult part is that they must also work with two other soldiers that they've never met before and demonstrate leadership skills in working with these other two soldiers," Staff Sargent Javier Benitez told Progress-Index.com. The final challenge for the soldiers was a mystery event which included a mass casualty scenario and stress fire tests.

Among Gallagher's competitors was Staff Sargent Russell Kojo who has been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq four times, reports Pasadena Star News.

Gallagher also won 2010 NRA National High Power Rifle Championship in August. She finished with a record-breaking score that replaced David Tubb's from 2003, according to AmmoLand.com.  

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