State Guard names soldier, NCO of the year

Hartford - The Connecticut Army National Guard named Spec. Stephanie Landry of Plymouth and Sgt. Johnny Peralta of Danbury as its top soldier and non-commissioned officer of the year for 2014.

They were chosen out of the organization's 3,625 members. Landry and Peralta were awarded the top honors after competing in a demanding four-day "best warrior competition" from March 27-30 at military training facilities in East Haven, East Lyme, New London and Niantic.

Landry, 23, is a military police officer assigned to the 143rd Military Police Company in West Hartford and has four years of military service. She works as a federal military technician with the National Guard.

"It is an honor to win," Landry said in a statement. "I wanted to do something to set me apart from my peers. If you get a chance to do this, then do it."

Peralta, 27, is a sniper infantryman assigned to Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry in New Haven and has six years of military service. He was the soldier of the year in 2012 and NCO of the year in 2013. Peralta works as a correction officer for the Connecticut Department of Correction.

"I wasn't sure I would win again, but it is an honor to be able to represent my unit," Peralta said in the statement. "There is a lot of history in this unit. I wanted to do this for the guys in the unit. To be able to represent that lineage is an honor."

Landry and Peralta will compete in the northeast regional best warrior competition.

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