1st Class, Chris Farley, 88th Regional Readiness Command Public
wants to be the Best Warrior of the Year?
with the current high unemployment rate at 9 percent in the United
States, you still wonít find a listing for the Best Warrior position
posted in any job section of your local newspaper.
Sgt. Cody Brunet, Alpha Company,
961st Engineer Battalion from Pewaukee, Wis., pulls the hood
over his protective mask during the Army Warrior task event at
the Divisional Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy. (Photo
by Sgt. 1st Class Chris Farley)
Army Reserve Soldiers volunteered and took the 2009 Divisional Best
Warrior Competition (DBWC) challenge at Fort McCoy, Wis. in late
88th Regional Support Command (RSC), the 416th Theater Engineer
Command (TEC), the 84th Training Division, the 85th Army Reserve
Support Command and the Fort McCoy Garrison collectively merged
resources to host one large DBWC for their competing warriors.
collective fusion created an intense and competitive climate for DBWC
candidates that most commands couldnít have replicated on their own
at home station due to constraints in staff, ammunition, and area to
conduct this challenge. With commands blending resources, the
challenge swelled in a positive way with more candidates and ideal
training opportunities being available at Fort McCoy.
winners were Sgt. Timothy McBride, 88th RSC Best noncommissioned
officer (NCO); Sgt. Cody Brunet, 416th TEC Best NCO; Spc. Shiloh
Becher, 416th TEC Best Soldier; Staff Sgt. Devin Hacket, 84th Training
Division Best NCO and Spc. Christopher Nelson, 84th Training Division
six Soldiers will fill the 2009 BWC positions and continue on to the
U.S. Army Reserve BWC in July held at Fort McCoy.
Maj. Kevin Greene, 85th Army Reserve Support Command and DBWC cadre,
said the union between the commands to host the DBWC brought in a lot
of different perspectives on how to commence the Soldier challenge,
eliminated any one bias and had a pool of experienced noncommissioned
officers (NCO) that had lots of input on how to effectively run the
a competitor stand- point, I think they did benefit because it allowed
us to do maybe a little bit more than one command could do on its
own," said Greene.
DBWC candidates were tested on a variety of events, including physical
fitness, shooting pop-up targets at the qualification range, day and
night land navigation, a written test and Army Warrior Training (AWT).
DBWC cadre kept the AWT events unknown. It wasnít until the
candidates entered through a door and were given their briefing that
they knew what was expected.
Staff Sgt. David Mangan, 88th
Regional Support Command Chaplainís Office, deploys a claymore
mine during the Army Warrior task event at the 2009 Divisional
Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy. (Photo
by Sgt. 1st Class Chris Farley)
door No. 1, candidates found a neatly folded pile of Joint Service
Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology gear and had to go through the
steps of protecting themselves from nuclear, biological, or chemical
injury or contamination.
door No. 2, Soldiers had to deploy a claymore mine or receive a
"No Go" with zero points going to their score. Few
successfully completed this task.
were keeping the secret. I didnít hear any hints beforehand. The
task we had to do was perform first aid on a casualty with an
abdominal wound and that I did fine. Now that Iím going to school
for nursing, I would have been kicking myself if I messed something
like that up," said Brunet, who is with Alpha Company of 961st
Engineer Battalion from Pewaukee, Wisconsin.
Sgt. Maj. James E. Williams, 88th RSC Command Sergeant Major, came up
with two mystery events and unveiled them on the designated testing
day to the cadre and candidates.
were met by a table covered with springs, barrels, firing pins and
other weapon parts.
had to take the parts and successfully put them together to make a
M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon and a M-2.50-caliber machine gun in a
designated time. Also, candidates had to perform a function check on
each weapon to show if they successfully put the weapon together
correctly to fire.
mystery task is a task Iíve used in previous competitions and there
are different variations of it," said Williams. He added that
knowing weapon systems is relevant for Army Reserve warriors because
there are many units and Soldiers going off to theater and they need
to be familiar with these weapons. Also, Williams said the secrecy
kept the playing field fair for all commands and no one would have any
advantages over the other.
how does a Soldier have a fair advantage with a weapon system their
unit doesnít have or has never seen or touched? "It comes down
to, how bad does this Soldier want to compete? What kind of level do
they want to bring to the challenge? Itís up to the Soldier to
prepare. We lay out all the areas they will be tested on during the
whole competition," said Sgt. Maj. Victor Imhoff, 416th TEC and
DBWC never did wind down for the candidates.
the final day, the competitors took to the streets of Fort McCoy
equipped with a Defense Advanced GPS Receiver (DAGR), a protractor, a
compass, a map and a No. 2 pencil.
was up to the competitors to come up with a strategy on finding their
points among the barracks, shops and other buildings in the Fort McCoy
so real in any operation whether youíre in peace- keeping or a
war-time scenario in Afghanistan or Iraq," said Imhoff.
added that Soldiers on patrol might only have a grid coordinate,
building number or address where the hostiles are and itís important
that Soldiers be versed in orientation to complete their mission.
the Urban Orientation event, DBWC candidates went before the
appearance board answering questions on current events, Army programs,
Army skills and more.
way, if I was here any other year Iíd be just as happy. But because
Iím competing as an NCO of the year in the Year of the NCO, itís
really nice and itís kind of given me motivation to keep going and
see how far I can go. It gives me more of a proud feeling," said
said they were prepared to take more DBWC candidates and next year can
probably take on two more commands for the 2010 DBWC.