Congratulations to Spc. Michael Rowland, a personnel specialist from Glens Falls assigned to the 501st Explosives Ordnance Disposal Battalion based in Glenville -  He was recognized as the New York National Guard's top enlisted Soldier!

He has served in the Army National Guard since July 2013.

Staff Sgt. Christian Hager, an infantry squad leader assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry, based in Geneseo, was selected as the top non-commissioned officer.

Hager has served in the Army National Guard since 2008.

The New York Army National Guard is made up of more than 10,000 Soldiers.

These men and women took part in a four day competition which tested their physical fitness and military knowledge.  They fired weapons, navigated with maps and compasses, demonstrated their ability to swim while in uniform, and participated in a grueling 6-mile forced march wearing full pack.

The two winners will move on to a northeast regional competition next month.  Eventually the best Soldiers from the Army National Guard, Army Reserve and Active Army face off in a military skills competition.

The competitors were selected through a series of competitions held at the local level and represented all areas of the state and Army National Guard units.

We here at 'GNA want to send our congratulations out to Spc. Rowland and Staff Sgt. Hager!  Good luck in the next round guys!

Coutesy of Jonathan Ferrey, Getty Images