FORT MCCOY, Wis. " The Army Reserve Soldiers competing at the Army Reserve’s Best Warrior competition on Thursday were given the mission to go through a live shoot house by identifying friendly forces and engaging enemies while clearing each room in the house.

Competitors prepared for the live shoot house event by rehearsing in a mock shoot house. Safety non-commissioned officers ensured Soldier safety and understanding of the mission by briefing and demonstrating the mission prior to starting the competition. The safety officers also accompanied the competitors through the live event.

Asked if the practice for the live shoot house helped, Spc. Le'Fate Jones, a competitor from the 84th Training Command at Fort Dix, N.J., said, “If it goes anything like this one, I think it’ll go great. Just don’t overthink it.”

The live event received excellent reviews the competitors.

"The M9 live clear was awesome,” said Spc. Jessica Storch from the 9th Mission Support Command. “That was the first time I ever tried it. It was really cool and the safeties were great with us. They were very articulate and handled us very well."

Storch said she has tried to maintain a positive attitude throughout the entire Best Warrior Competition.

“I think you learn more from your failures than getting everything right on the first try,” said Storch. “That is kind of what the competition is about, but if you take something from it and learn from it, that is the most important thing.”

The Soldiers competing this week at the Best Warrior Competition, held this week (June 20-24) at Fort McCoy, Wis., represent 205,000 Soldiers in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Two winners will be selected at the end of the week as the Army Reserve’s Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the year and will represent the Army Reserve at the Army’s Best Warrior Competition in October at Fort Lee, Va.

The Soldiers are spending a week on a variety of Army challenges that test their mettle in tests of skill such as weapons qualification, a ruck march, land navigation, Army combatives, first aid, and weapons assembly.

Their military backgrounds and experience represent the entire spectrum of the Army Reserve. Many have deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. Their career fields include military police, healthcare, mechanics, human resources, intelligence, chaplain assistant and engineering. They represent a wide cross-section of America, hailing from various states across the United States.

Page last updated Fri June 24th, 2011 at 00:00