Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Dailey said this year's changes would likely continue in the future as the Army continues looking to cut costs.
"Everybody knows that sequestration is here and we've got to save money," Dailey said. But he added that this program benefits the entire command, not just the winning soldier.
"It builds inspiration, esprit de corps with the units, the drive for soldiers to want to be the best. ... Will the Army function without it? I'm sure it will. Will the Army be better with it? Absolutely."
The winner of the soldier of the year competition will advance to the Armywide Best Warrior competition this fall, which pits the winners of all 12 major Army commands around the globe against each other at Fort Lee, Va.
Soldiers in the running for the Training and Doctrine Command title are based at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Sill, Okla.; Fort Gordon, Ga.; Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Lee, Va.; Fort Knox, Ky.; Fort Rucker, Ala.; Fort Meade, Md.; Fort Jackson, S.C.