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Stars and StripesEuropean edition, Saturday, May 6, 2006

NAPLES, Italy — Two southern Italy-based soldiers stationed at NATO’s Joint Forces Command in Naples prevailed during a weeklong competition to be named the Soldier of the Year and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year for U.S. Army NATO Regional Command South.

Spc. Aaron Johnson was named top soldier, and Staff Sgt. Walter Twitty earned the NCO nod, said event coordinator Sgt. 1st Class Devin Sholty. Both are with Company A.

The soldiers now will go on to compete Monday at a brigade-level competition, contending against soldiers from various NATO bases throughout Europe.

“It was pretty tough and challenging, it challenged my knowledge base and challenged me physically,” Johnson, 21, said of trials that included physical training, M-16 qualifications, day and night land navigation, first aid, and searching of vehicles.

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