16th Sustainment Brigade Soldiers vie for Warrior Leader and Warrior of the Year titles
May 11, 2011
BAMBERG, Germany - Since November 2010, Soldiers of the 16th Sustainment Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, have competed for the title of Warrior and Warrior Leader of the Year.
May 2-3, all the winners from each of the quarter competitions went head to head in an exhausting two-day event here, on Warner Barracks.
Sgt. Kareem Jones, a multiple launch rocket systems repairer with the 317th Maintenance Company, 391st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 16th Sust. Bde., won the title of Warrior Leader of the Year, and Pfc. Kevin Repass, a truck driver with the 1st Inland Cargo Transportation Co., 18th CSSB, 16th Sust. Bde., took home the title of Warrior of the Year. Each Soldier will now represent the 16th Sust. Bde. at the 21st TSC level competition beginning May 15.
The competitors endured an Army Physical Fitness Test, a combatives tournament, weapons qualification, a land navigation course with Situational Training Exercise lanes, a night land navigation course,a 12-mile road march and a formal board just three days after a grueling three-week train up.
"The train up made this competition even more difficult," said Repass. "We didn't have any time to rest before this competition. We went straight from the train up to this competition."
"We were doing road marches every other day during Knights University and Ranger (Physical Training) all the time," added Jones.
This year's competition was the hardest yet. A combatives tournament and STX lanes were added in order to further test each Soldier.
Because of the addition of the combatives tournament and the STX lanes coupled with the normal challenges, there were no breaks. The Soldiers consumed Meals Ready to Eat on the run while completing challenges.
"Because we went from one event to another without any breaks, we were running on fumes the whole time and that made us dig that much deeper to keep going ," said Repass. "It was all about heart."
"It was a positive experience because as Soldiers, you are supposed to be able to work like that and it only made us better," added Jones.
The competition was extremely close and there was not much distance between the Soldiers who finished first and the Soldiers who finished second.
Spc. Steven Palmer, a motor transport operator with 66th Transportation Co., 39th Transportation Bn. 16th Sust. Bde., was the WOY runner up by only four points.
"Palmer pushes me a lot," said Repass. "He brings the best out in me every time. We have been in the last three competitions together. Every time he shows up he's better than the last time and it almost killed me trying keep up with him."
"Repass is always a challenge to compete against," said Palmer. "He forces me to push myself to the limit. Everyone in the competition deserved to be there. They were definitely the best of the best."
"I had a blast at the competition," added Palmer. "The training was excellent, the PT was phenomenal and I learned a lot while I was there. I definitely feel like it has prepared me for the 21st TSC competition."