As you've doubtless heard, Time picked "The American Soldier" as POY this go-round:
They swept across Iraq and conquered it in 21 days. They stand guard on streets pot-holed with skepticism and rancor. They caught Saddam Hussein. They are the face of America, its might and good will, in a region unused to democracy. The U.S. G.I. is TIME's Person of the Year.
This isn't the first the U.S. G.I. (or equivalent) has been chosen: The "American Fighting Man" was selected in 1950. Go here for a decade by decade listing, starting with the '20s.
Perhaps the oddest element of this all is that Time is using the story as a way of driving subscriptions via its Web site.