Pacific Army Reserve Best Warriors Announced
May 24, 2013
FORT SHAFTER FLATS, Hawaii -- The 9th Mission Support Command announced the winners of this year's Pacific Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition during a ceremony, here, May 23.
Sgt. Jeremiah M. Bruce, an infantryman with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment, emerged as the top Noncommissioned Officer of the year, while Spc. Justin N. Trusso, carpentry and masonry specialist with 797th Engineer Company, 411th Engineer Battalion, 9th MSC, won the battle for Soldier of the Year.
"It feels good, really good," Bruce said. "It (the competition) brought out a lot of great warriors and a lot of great Soldiers and NCOs who I have a lot of great respect for… it was a great competition."
The week-long event pushed the contestants to their physical and mental limits as they were evaluated on basic military skills to include land navigation, weapons marksmanship, Modern Army Combatives, and the Army Physical Fitness Test.
The Soldiers were also judged on their appearance in uniform as they stood proudly before a board of senior enlisted leaders who assailed them each with a series of Army questions.
Although the competition began on May 18, the weeks and months leading up to it were just as grueling for the Soldiers.
Bruce said that in the weeks preceding the BWC, he put himself through a rigorous regimen of physical fitness, Jiu-Jitsu training, and long hours studying Army warrior tasks, which really paid off for him during the heat of the competition.
Trusso explained that even with all his preparation, he was nervous he wouldn't measure up against the other Soldiers.
"When I first got here I wasn't sure what to expect," said Trusso. "Everyone looked equally prepared. At one point, I was ready to give it up. But, I didn't want to do that so I just pushed through and seized the moment."
Command Sgt. Maj. David Yamamoto, command sergeant major for the 9th MSC, lauded all the Soldiers for their tremendous efforts.
"I told these Soldiers to step out of their comfort zone, step up to the plate, and take on new challenges, and they did," said Yamamoto. "I have seen their faces and know who the best of the best are. They are our future. I couldn't be any prouder."
Bruce and Trusso are not only happy they have come out on top, but are both pleased to have represented their units well.
"It (winning the BWC) definitely brings some pride to my unit," said Bruce, an honored member of the "Purple Heart Battalion. "It's not really so much about me as a person as it is just showing what the 100th Battalion can do."
Trusso, a native of Yona, Guam, said, "this (win) is just another way of putting Guam on the map. My unit, the 797th Engineer Company, we're out there, and we're coming strong."
Both Bruce and Trusso realize that their journey is far from over, as they will continue to prepare for the national competition.
"I am anticipating for the next level of competition (at Fort McCoy) to be a lot more intense," said Trusso. "I know that it is a really high bar, so Sgt. Bruce and I have got a lot more training to do in order to be ready."
For their distinguished accomplishments, the two Reservists were awarded an Army Commendation Medal and will go on to represent the 9th MSC in the U.S. Army Reserve Command Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy, Wis., scheduled for June 23-28.