SMDC announces Best Warriors
June 26, 2014
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command held this year's Best Warrior competition June 23-26 at Fort Carson, Colo., and Peterson Air Force Base.
The overall command winners are Staff Sgt. Brian D. Hester, Charlie Detachment, 1st Space Company, 1st Space Battalion, 1st Space Brigade, Osan Air Base, Korea; and Pfc. Chase M. Teats, Bravo Company, 53rd Signal Battalion, Fort Meade, Md.
Hester, a Waterford, Mich., native, currently serves as a joint tactical army ground station (JTAGS) operator, who provides early warning theater missile intelligence to the global combatant commanders in real time.
Teats, a Harrisburg, Va., native, is a satellite systems operator maintainer and a satellite systems network coordinator. His job is to provide 24/7 vital real time strategic and tactical communications to the entire department of defense, international agencies, and external government agencies.
Command Sgt. Maj. James Ross, USASMDC/ARSTRAT command sergeant major, said the competition is a six-month process.
"We have unit leaders in our locations across the globe identify their top Soldiers," Ross said. "They start preparing them to compete at the unit level. From there they move on to the regional competitions. From there, we bring the winners to Colorado Springs where they compete in a very intense competition."
The competition consisted of the Army Physical Fitness Test, day and night urban orienteering, Army warrior tasks and battle drills, 12-mile ruck march, M9 pistol and M4 rifle weapons qualification, written common Soldier knowledge examination, written essay, and appearance in front of a board consisting of command sergeants major from across SMDC.
"Ultimately, what we were able to do this week was identify our top two warriors," Ross said. "We are going to invest a lot of time in preparing them during a train-up between now and October for the Department of Army competition."
Hester and Teats will represent the command in the Headquarters DA Best Warrior Competition in Fort Lee, Va., in October.
Hester, who competed in last year's DA Best Warrior Competition, said he knows what it takes to compete as a noncommissioned officer.
"I'm looking forward to competing again and getting the space name out there because not a lot of people know what we do or what USASMDC/ARSTRAT is in general," Hester said. "So with kind of being the underdogs, I look forward to being able to show them what we can do and either win it or place very high this year no questions asked.
"I will take what I learned last year, and pass it along to Teats and ensure he knows a little about what's going on," Hester continued. "Also, I will continue to train and study real hard to make sure I am prepared. I plan on going back with a vengeance this year."
Teats who is new to the competition is looking forward to what lies ahead.
"I am looking forward to learning new skills, training hard and getting ready to compete at the highest level," said Teats.
"We are fully confident that these Soldiers will represent the command at the Army Best Warrior competition in Fort Lee in a positive manner, and I have no doubt that they will be ready to go," Ross said.
Both Hester and Teats will receive Army Commendation Medals and will be formally recognized at a ceremony at a later date.