|FORT McCOY, Wis. — The Army Reserve’s Best Warrior
Competition was held at Fort McCoy July 25-30. The 30 competitors came
from a total force of more than 206,000 and qualified with victories at
preliminary competitions at commands across the country.
Army Reserve Best Warrior
candidates compete in the 2-mile run during the Army Physical
Fitness Test at the 2010 Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition
at Fort McCoy.
(Photo by Tim Hale)
They spent the week facing a variety of physical and mental
challenges to test their skills, knowledge and endurance.
On the last day, two competitors were selected as the Army Reserve’s
Noncommissoned Officer (NCO) and Soldier of the Year: Sgt. David W.
Rider, B Company, 256th Support Hospital, Twinsburg, Ohio, and Spc.
Joshua McDowell, 7246th Installation Medical Support Unit, Omaha, Neb.
The runners-up were Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Fries, NCO Academy, Fort
McCoy, and Spc. Robert A. Busch, 979th Engineer Company, Lexington, Ky.
The competitors represented diverse military and civilian backgrounds
and experiences. They ranged in age from 19 to 43 years old. Many have
deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and the Horn of Africa. Several
have been decorated in combat with Bronze Star Medals and Combat Action
Their career fields included infantry, military police, health care,
mechanics, human resources, intelligence, public affairs, civil affairs,
Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Fries
engages a target during the Reflexive Fire event at the 2010
Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy.
(Photo by Tim Hale)
Best Warrior Competition
A Fort McCoy noncommissioned officer
(NCO) finished a close runner-up in the Army Reserve Best
Warrior Competition for NCO of the Year.
Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Fries, a Warrior Leader Course (WLC) Small
Group Leader assigned to the Fort McCoy NCO Academy, finished
only a few points behind Sgt. David W. Rider, B Company, 256th
Support Hospital, Twinsburg, Ohio. Fries would compete in the
Army Best Warrior Competition in October if Rider is unable to
Command Sgt. Maj. M. Kevin Dubois, NCO Academy Commandant, said
Fries is a stellar NCO who truly cares for Soldiers. “He
provides a positive role model, shares his vast knowledge and
experience and mentors Soldiers attending WLC to ensure their
“Staff Sgt. Fries used the opportunity to compete for the title
to further develop his leadership skills and will pass on the
information he learned to our students. I am very proud of Staff
Sgt. Fries and his outstanding accomplishment,” Dubois said.
They have a variety of civilian careers — many times similar to their
military assignments, but sometimes not.
These Citizen-Soldiers also represented a cross-section of America. They
came from large and small communities, and have attended college or been
assigned to units in dozens of other locations.
Some were born or grew up outside the United States, and others are
naturalized citizens, but all of them voluntarily serve to protect all
Americans and the nation’s interests at home and abroad.
This year’s competition started with an early morning fitness test,
written exam, and an interview before a board of senior NCOs where
competitors were quizzed on “all things Army.”
On subsequent days they moved to a remote training base with
primitive living conditions. There they tested their marksmanship and
orienteering skills during day and night, proved their mettle in tests
such as hand-to-hand combat, a grueling road march, and a variety of
This year’s competition also included four “mystery events” announced
only minutes before each event began.
The Army Reserve Soldier and NCO of the Year will go on to represent
their fellow Citizen-Soldiers at the Department of the Army’s worldwide
competition at Fort Lee, Va., in October.
For more information, visit the 2010 Army Reserve Best Warrior
Competition websites at
(Submitted by U.S. Army Reserve Command Public Affairs.)