2011 MDW Best Warrior Competition
July 26, 2011
While temperatures rose to more than 100 degrees, six noncommissioned officers and six junior-enlisted Soldiers participated in the U.S. Army Military District of Washington's Best Warrior Competition (BWC), at Fort A.P. Hill, Va. July 18 - 22.
The winners of this year's competition are Sgt. 1st Class Chad Stackpole, Sergeant of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns, and Spc. Casey Hargaden, infantryman, in Headquarters Company, 1-3 Battalion. Both Soldiers are currently serving in the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard).
During the competition, Soldiers test their Army aptitude, conquering urban warfare simulations, board interviews, physical fitness tests, written exams, and Warrior tasks and battle drills relevant to today's operating environment.
Over the course of three days, a total of 12 Soldiers were tested on their performance at the Army Physical Fitness Test, an appearance at a military selection board, weapons qualification, day and night land navigation, written exams, and Warrior task testing lanes.
Sgt Joshua Blue, 1st Battalion BWC Cadre, said he was looking for the Soldiers to be able to complete the warrior tasks in a precise and timely manner. "The lack of sleep, high temperatures and non-stop adrenaline rushes help determine the outcome of who will ultimately be the Best Warrior for the Military District of Washington," said Blue.
Competitors engaged numerous basic level Warrior tasks and drills such as administering first aid to mannequins, properly performing camouflage techniques to prevent detection and reacting to a possible Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Other challenges included reflexive fire training required for short-range marksmanship, engaging targets with a hand grenade, and requesting a medical evacuation.
Sgt. Matthew Rossi, a BWC competitor from MDW Headquarters, said he thought it was a great competition between great Soldiers. "It was physically and mentally demanding," said Rossi.
To help simulate unpredictability on the battlefield, Soldiers competing only discovered just prior to each event what their next event would be. According to the cadre administering the event, this gives the Soldiers very little time to prepare, keeping the testing as close to realistic applications of the skills in combat.
"You never knew exactly what was coming up next, always kept us on our toes." said Rossi. "Definitely made us think on the run."
"Self-motivation in my inner core," said Staff Sgt. Heibert Quintero, White House Communications Agency assistant noncommissioned officer in charge. "It's what drove me to attempt this competition. My awareness skills and reaction time increase each and every day. I'm glad I had the opportunity to compete against such high caliber warriors."
The winners of the MDW competition will now go on to compete in the Department of the Army's BWC in October 2011.