Army Soldier of the Year Spc. David Obray made an appearance on the television show "Twin Cities Live" on Monday, Oct. 20.
Here's an excerpt from their website.
He went from being unable to run a mile to doing it in less than six minutes! Specialist, David Obray from Fairmont has only three years experience in the United States Army, but he has already been awarded the prestigious honor of “Soldier of the Year,” for the entire United States Army. The Best Warrior Competition names the Soldier of the Year and it tests the physical endurance and intellectual ability of elite competitors.
Here's a story that appeared on Army.mil where Army Soldier of the Year, Spc. David Obray, spent some time with World War II veterans, many of whom are from his home state of Minnesota.
Soldiers greet 600 WWII veterans at memorial Oct 10, 2008 BY Gary Sheftick, ARMY NEWS SERVICE Soldier of the Year Spc. David Obray greets a veteran Wednesday at the World War II Memorial in Wahington, D.C. Photo by Gary Sheftick WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 10, 2008) -- More than 600 veterans from what has been called "the greatest generation" visited the World War II Memorial Wednesday and were greeted by a current generation of Soldiers.
- (From the top) - Army Reserve Command Sergeant Major Leon Caffie congratulates Spc. Obray. - Spc. Obray poses with Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Army Vice Chief of Staff (left) and Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston. - (L-R) Gen. Chiarelli, Spc. Obray, Staff Sgt. Michael Noyce Merino, NCO of the Year winner, and Sgt. Major of the Army Preston. - Spc. Obray is congratulated again by Sgt. Major of the Army Preston in the receiving line.
Timothy L. Hale Army Reserve Public Affairs
Obray's selection was made at the Sergeant Major of the Army luncheon at the Association of the United States Army annual convention today in Washington, D.C.
Obray defeated 11 other competitors in the Soldier of the Year category representing major Army commands by conquering urban warfare simulations, board interviews, essays, physical fitness tests and Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills relevant to today's current operating environment.
The 22 year-old Construction Equipment Repair Specialist with the 492nd Engineer Company, 414th Engineer Command is a senior at Winona State University. He is the President of the Student Association at WSU and is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Law & Society and Business Law.
Weighing 300 pounds at age 16, Obray credits military discipline with giving him the courage and ability to become physically and mentally fit. Obray's brother and sister currently serve in the Army.
In the NCO of the Year competition, it was Staff Sgt. Michael Noyce Merino of the Montana Army National Guard taking top honors.
Read post-ceremony press conference story on Army.mil.(CLICK HERE)
The 2008 Dept. of the Army NCO and Soldier of the Year "Best Warrior" is complete and Army Reserve "Best Warriors" Staff Sgt. Francisco Gutierrez and Spc. David Obray along with the other 22 major command competitors are on their way to Washington, D.C.
After attending the GEICO pasta dinner this evening, they will get to experience the Army 10-miler from the reviewing stands on Sunday...a welcome relief after being on their feet for most of this past week during the NCOY-SOY competition.
Monday is the big day when this year's NCO and Soldier "Best Warrior" winners will be announced during a luncheon hosted by Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual convention in Washington, D.C.
Timothy L. Hale Army Reserve Public Affairs Staff Sgt. Francisco Gutierrez and Spec. David Obray completed the final event of the Army's "Best Warrior" competition...the Mystery Event.
The Army Reserve "Best Warriors" completed all the mini-events which made up the overall Mystery Event.
The mini-events included: a uniform PCC/PCI, Escalation of Force scenario, Humvee roll-over simulator, a Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) scenario and the long-time staple of the Mystery Event, a combatives tournament.
We are pleased to report that Spc. Obray won the Soldier side of the bracket and faced off against the NCO winner. Eventhough he did defeat the NCO, Spc. Obray was truly the "best of the best" on the combatives mat amongst the 12 Soldier competitors.
Timothy L. Hale Army Reserve Public Affairs The skies over the Fort Lee, Va. range complex were filled with parachute flares as Army Reserve "Best Warriors" Staff Sgt. Francisco Gutierrez and Spc. David Obray completed the M4 night qualification event.
As the flares soared into the night sky, Gutierrez, Obray and the other 22 competitors "scanned their sectors" and engaged their targets.
The next to the last event in the 2008 Dept. of the Army Non-Commissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year "Best Warrior" competition sets the stage for Friday's Mystery Event.
After a few hours of shut eye, Army Reserve "Best Warriors" Staff Sgt. Francisco Gutierrez and Spc. David Obray set off on cold, dark and breezy morning at Fort Lee, Va. for the Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills.
The Warriors had to complete five stations consisting of: weapons assembly, medical, evacuation of a casualty, enemy POW handling and IED detection.
From there, the Warriors head out to the M4 qualification range for day and night fire.
The final phase of the five day competition will be the Mystery Event. None of the 24 competitors in this year's competition knows what that will be...even the start time is a mystery!
Wednesday was a long day for Army Reserve "Best Warrior" Staff Sgt. Francisco Gutierrez and Spc. David Obray.
After completing the AFPT, the Written Exam and the Essay it was on to the field for the Urban Warfighting Orienteering Course conducted both during the day and later that evening.
During the daytime, the Warriors were required to navigate across Fort Lee, locating four points while also interacting with role-players at each location. The course covered approximately five miles across the post.
In the evening, the Warriors were required to find three pionts. After a few hours of sleep it was on to the Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills early, early Thursday morning.