KATHMANDU, Oct 27: Sergeant Saral Kumar Shrestha, who is working for the American army, was declared ‘The Best Warrior of the Year 2012’, referred to as the ‘Super Bowl’ of military competitions in the United States of America.
Sgt Shrestha was born in Naxal, Kathmandu and has been working for the American Army since 2009. He is currently working for the Third Special Force Command (Airborne) in the US Army.
The US Army has been organizing the competition for the last 11 years for officers and non commissioned officers category.
Having won the ‘Soldier of the Year’ title competing within the seven divisions of the Special Force, Shrestha was selected for the ‘The Best Warrior of the Year’ award from the non commissioned officers category. America activates Special Force Command during times of peace, conflict and war.
Matthew Senna won this year’s award from the officers’ category. Each participant represented the12 command officers and non officers’ level.
Saral Kumar Shrestha receiving the Best Warrior of the Year 2012 in Washington DC.
Shrestha was awarded by Vice Chief of Staff of US Army, General Llyod J Austin in a ceremony organized in Washington, DC.
The competition was organized in Fort Lee, Virginia, Army post and headquarters of US Army from October 15 to 18. Participants competed in terms of urban warfare, interviews, physical fitness tests, written exams and abilities in war practice.
Sergeant Major of the US Army, Raymond F Chandler, who monitored the competition, said on the official website of the US Army, “The competition is based on the number of total soldiers and activities, and they are judged accordingly.”
“Apart from the physique, we also emphasize on mental health. We test their creativity under pressure,” he added on the website, “Anyone who completes these tests and lands a position should be proud of it.”
Shrestha who is the only child of Ramesh Kumar Shrestha, Professor of Political Science at Patan Multiple Campus, left for America in 2006 for his higher education. While studying Computer Networking at Bellevue University in Nebraska, he joined the military on September 15, 2009 at the age of 21.
Shrestha who holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Information Systems says he wants to pursue his graduate degree and be an army officer.
He cites his wife, Elisha as an important factor in his success. According to the website, Elisha coached him during the practice sessions prior to the competition. he said that she helped him in his late night studies and trainings on war practice.
He registered himself through regulations of Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) and online application process. He has been deployed in Afghanistan thrice.
Before he left for America, Shrestha had completed his +2 studies in Computer Science from Patan Multiple Campus. Shrestha grew up listening to his grandfather’s war storieswho fought in the World War II. Shrestha’s family has a history in warfare. His ancestors were members of the Malla army and lived in Maru Tol in Kathmandu.
Jay Prakash Malla, the then king of Kantipur had sent Saral’s ancestors to fight against the Gorkhali soldiers. But when the battalion was caught in a fight with the local army, they were sent further South.