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June 22, 2012

Training

McCoy site of Regional Best Warrior Soldier, NCO competition

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).
PHOTO: Best Warrior competitors run the two-mile portion of the Army Physical Fitness Training event. Photo by Spc. Lindsey Schulte
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 Schulte)

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 in July.

“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 do it.”

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 fitness.

“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 hand-to-hand combat.

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.”

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