Hooah let the Best Warriors Out!
July 1, 2010
FORT MCCOY, Wis.- Summer always marks the onslaught of summer big budget movies and sequels.
One action packed sequel that played here exclusively and won't be shown at the local Cineplex because it isn't a movie, but is a sequel to last year's successful warrior challenge, is the 2010 Regional Best Warrior Competition held here in early June.
Twenty Army Reserve Warrior Citizens were cast for the 2010 Regional Best Warrior Competition from the 416th Theater Support Command, 84th Training Support Command and the 88th Regional Support Command. For a second time, the three commands merged resources to host one spectacular competition utilizing more resources, logistics and personnel to top last year's competition.
This year's competition was wrenched up a couple notches with more surprises; more physically demanding events and social media websites were utilized for fans to follow their favorite candidate.
Sgt. Maj. Kevin K. Greene, 2010 Regional Best Warrior Competition cadre, said when they were in the planning stage they didn't want to create a competition where the book smart Soldiers had the advantage over Soldiers that were physical beasts and vice versa.
Greene said, "We want a true best warrior. We want somebody that not only can think on their feet but is also physically capable. It's the whole package."
To name a few events returning from last year was the Army Physical Fitness Test, the appearance board, weapons qualifications and Warrior Training Tasks. New to this year's starring line up was an approximately 10 kilometer road march with candidates carrying over 100 pounds of gear, Army modern combatives and three mystery events.
The new Medical Simulation Training Center, also known as MSTC, here had a supporting role during the RBWC. Candidates entered a dark and foggy room, with flashing lights and blaring heavy metal music playing in this confined room. On the floor was an Emergency Care Simulator or dummy that's programmed to bleed, breath, go into convulsions and blink. These horror films like special effects were utilized to simulate real world combat conditions. Once candidates were inside the room, they had to evaluate a casualty and administer first aid.
"Most times in your unit you get a very simulated kind of environment for these tasks but here you really get a bit more feel for the sense of urgency of the task," said a tired Army Staff Sgt. Jason R. Fiedler, 2010 RBWC candidate, after he finished going through the MSTC.
The three mystery tasks where reflexive fire, route clearance and the physical conditioning course. The physical conditioning course was on the final day before the combatives tournament and all candidates were pushed to their physical limits to overcome every obstacle as fast as they could. Each candidate would receive 50 points on this course if they finished it in four minutes or less.
Spc. Anthony T. Lindell, 2010 Regional Best Warrior Competition candidate, finished the course in three minutes and twenty seconds with a five point penalty for not successfully completing the rope crawl. Like a stunt seen in an action movie, Lindell scaled a wall fast, dropped, did a combat rolled back on to his feet and ran off to the next obstacle.
"I kind of ran and jumped. You know when you jump from a high distance you're suppose to roll with it. So I kind of planted my feet and rolled with it and kept on going," said Lindell as he critiques his own stunt.
Tired from the course and other events from the week, candidates pushed themselves and each other one last time to compete in combatives.
"The key to success in any combatives match is to have the "Top Gun" soundtrack in your head going into the match and through the match. You can't lose," said Army Sgt. Marcus P. Caruso, 2010 Regional Best Warrior Competition candidate.
"The thing I noticed in the scoring is was that there was no run away winner. It was down to the last event on the last day to determine the winners," said Greene.
Another different direction and advantage for candidates this year is the Public Affairs, nicknamed the A-Team, utilized social media sites to post daily images and videos of the RBWC. Sgt. 1st Class Eric B. Wilcoxson said, "It's pretty crazy that one minute you're doing it and the next minute it's published on the web." Wilcoxson said this gives candidates' family and friends the advantage of keeping in touch while the candidates are competing in the competition. To see all the action packed video dailies, end of exercise video and pictures of our Warrior Citizen A list stars check out the following websites.
1) 416th TEC FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/416th-Theater-Engineer-Command
2) 416th FLICKR: http://www.flickr.com/416th-Theater-Engineer-Command
3) USARC FLICKR: www.flickr.com/photos/myarmyreserve
Finally at a luncheon, the moment all candidates were waiting for was who would go on to the United States Army Reserve Command Best Warrior Competion.
The winning Soldiers of the 2010 Regional Best Warrior Competition were Spc. Kevin P. Looney for the 84th Training Support Command and Spc. Joshua Ahn for the 416th Theater Engineer Command. The winning noncommissioned officers of the 2010 Regional Best Warrior Competition were Army Staff Sgt. Christopher L. Bender for 84th Training Support Command, Army Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Fries for the 88th Regional Support Command and Army Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Hall for the 416th Theater Engineer Command . Each winning Soldier and NCO will compete again at the United States Army Reserve Command Best Warrior Competition held at Fort McCoy in late July.
Like James Bond, the Regional Best Warrior Completion will return next year so it will officially be a trilogy.