|By Spc. Benjamin John & Lindsey Schulte, 364th
Public Affairs Operations Center
FORT McCOY, Wis. — Soldiers from all over the United States gathered at
the installation from June 4-8 for the chance to claim the coveted title
of 2012 Regional Best Warrior. The Best Warrior Competition (BWC) is a
weeklong event in which Soldiers compete in one of two categories,
Junior Enlisted Soldiers and Noncommissioned Officers (NCO).
Competitors push off from the
starting line of the two-mile run for the Army Physical Fitness
Training event at the 2012 Regional Best Warrior Competition.
(Photo by Spc. Lindsey
During the week, Soldiers tested their knowledge of various Warrior
tasks and general Army knowledge to gain points that determined who will
go on to compete at the U.S. Army Reserve BWC, which will be held here
“I can’t imagine wearing this uniform and not wanting to be the best at
it,” said Staff Sgt. Gabriela E. Abreu, an NCO category competitor.
“You’ve got to put in all you’ve got, and this is where you’re going to
The first event, the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), consisted of
timed push-ups, sit-ups, and the two-mile run. The APFT measures a
Soldier’s muscular strength, endurance, and cardiovascular/respiratory
“The APFT is an important aspect of the BWC because to be a Soldier and
a leader we have to be 100 percent fit,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher M.
Dedrick, an NCO Category competitor from the Fort Dix NCO Academy. “I
wouldn’t want to be a leader who doesn’t set an example for my Soldiers,
and that’s why physical fitness is important to me.”
Throughout the rest of the week, the Soldiers completed a variety of
basic Warrior tasks that challenged them both physically and mentally.
One such event was the Weapons Jumble. During this exercise competitors
were timed to see how fast they could assemble three different weapons
systems that were taken apart and put into a closed wooden box.
“The Best Warrior Competition is one of the best tests of the Soldier,
and I just wanted to see if I could compete,” Dedrick said.
During one of the last days of the competition, Soldiers started off
early with a 6.2 mile road march, with competitors wearing a rucksack
with a single 50-pound sand bag inside. The march was followed by a
Modern Army Combatives Tournament where competitors battled it out in
But in the end, there would be only one winner from each category
selected to compete at the next level.
Spc. Kyle A. Hughes of the 486th Engineer Company won the Junior
Enlisted Soldier category, and Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Rios of Bravo Company
Regional Training Center East won the NCO category.
Even though there were clear winners in this competition, the warriors
who took part still had a positive outlook.
“During the competition it really felt like we were all a team that
worked together and helped each other out,” said Spc. Marcy D. Conner,
who represented the 401st Engineer Company. “It’s really motivating and
encouraging to be around so many people with good attitudes that help
each other reach their full potential. We all know that we are working
for the same cause and that we are all Soldiers in the end.”