|By Darrin McDufford, 88th Regional Support Command
Public Affairs Office
FORT MCCOY, Wis. — Grueling. Effortful. Formidable. Of the approximately
200,000 words in the English dictionary — nearly one word for each
Soldier in the U. S. Army Reserve — these are some of the words that
just begin to describe what 43 Soldiers recently experienced in their
quest for excellence.
Staff Sgt. Conrad Nazar marches
along during the 10-kilometer road march at the Army Reserve
Best Warrior competition at Fort McCoy.
(Photo by Spc. Lindsey A.
Ohio native Staff Sgt. Conrad Nazar, an instructor at the Staff Sgt.
Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Academy at Fort McCoy,
Wis., 88th Regional Support Command, embodied the spirit of those words
on his way to finishing as the runner-up in the NCO competition.
“Everything I do leads up to things like this in life and prepares you,”
said Nazar. “I was encouraged to participate in the Best Warrior
competition after one of my buddies was a runner-up.”
Nazar added that he lives the “Be-Know-Do” of leadership, which involves
the direct organization and strategy of leadership principles.
“The competition is about the training, setting the example and the
experiences that they will take back to their units and then train other
Soldiers,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Schultz, command sergeant
major of the U.S. Army Reserve.
He stressed the importance of what the Best Warrior is by saying, “It’s
bigger than a competition. What they take back to their units is far
bigger than this competition. We’re building the way ahead for the
future sergeants major in the Army Reserve.”
The Soldiers span all areas of the Army. Some have deployed overseas
multiple times and military careers include military police, healthcare,
mechanics, human resources, intelligence, chaplain assistants and
The competitors for the event represented a cross-section of America,
hailing from various states from throughout the United States.
Lt. Gen Jack C. Stultz, chief of the Army Reserve, said, “All
Soldiers are a national treasure because they don’t have to be here —
they sacrifice to serve their country. These are the best of them. They
give so much and continue to give. I am just so proud of them.”
The competition taking place June 20-24 at Fort McCoy included
intense events that culminated months of preparation as well as
competing in previous competitions.
Each competition was progressively more challenging and trying.
The events consisted of a physical fitness exam, a night land-navigation
course, weapon qualification as well as combatives (hand-to-hand
combat), first aid, weapons functions and assembly, and a 10-kilometer
(6.2 mile) road march.
The two winners: Sgt. Christopher R. Couchot of the 335th Signal
Company, headquartered at East Point, Ga.; and Spc. Ryan J. Barger of
the 200th Military Police Command of Fort Meade, Md., will represent the
Army Reserve at the Army’s Best Warrior Competition in October at Fort
Nazar would participate in the competition if Couchot can’t attend.
(See related photos.)