The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
A Fort Carson Green Beret has been named the Army's best sergeant after a weeklong event at Fort Lee, Va. Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Carpenter with the 10th Special Forces Group was one of three Fort Carson soldiers in the Armywide Best Warrior competition.
"I wanted to show the Army what makes my unit work so well," Carpenter said in a telephone interview. His victory was announced in a Friday news release.
The competition drew 28 soldiers to compete for the titles of best soldier and best sergeant. They were tested on military skills, military knowledge, marksmanship and physical fitness. To get to Fort Lee, the soldiers had to win a series of competitions, starting against other soldiers in their units.
Carpenter, an engineer sergeant, serves on 10th Group's A-teams, which specialize in training foreign troops and conducting lightning raids. His commanders were happy with the win.
"His excellence in these competitions is demonstrative of the diversity, versatility and maturity of our people, and exactly what enables 10th Special Forces Group to accomplish a wide range of special warfare tasks as directed in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Afghanistan," said Col. Brian Petit, the group's deputy commander.
Green Berets may have a leg up in the Warrior events. To earn their Special Forces status, they must go through the same training as other soldiers, complete jump school and then tackle more than a year of extra training, much of which is designed to wash them out of contention for the Green Beret.
While only the smartest and toughest get the beret, that doesn't mean the Fort Lee competition was easy for Carpenter. In one event, competitors were asked to don heavy chemical protection suits. In the early fall heat of Virginia, the tasks that followed were a sweaty test of endurance.
"It was warm out and, when you're in that gear, it does become very hot," Carpenter said. "It's cumbersome and hard to move in."
Carpenter sealed his win with a stellar performance in marksmanship. Competitors fired the Army's M-9 pistol and the M-4 rifle. "I like the shooting evening events," he said.
Job well done First Sergeant Carpenter!