PIRMASENS, GERMANY - For the second consecutive year, the United States Army Medical Materiel Center Europe teamed up with Public Health Command Europe to conduct their Best Warrior Competition on Husterhoeh Kaserne, Jan. 29 -- Feb. 2.

Noncommissioned Officers and junior enlisted Soldiers from four different units, and various Military Occupational Specialties and backgrounds, spent five days competing for the title of "Best Warrior."

Competitors squared off in a series of challenging events that included: urban warfare simulations, land navigation and orienteering, the Army Physical Fitness Test, weapons ranges, a ruck march, Warrior Task and Battle Drills, board interviews, essay and written exam, and a number of mystery events.

When the dust settled, USAMMCE's Private 1st Class Steven Martinez was declared the winner for the USAMMCE competition, and PHCE's winners were Sgt. Waggoner Spurlen, from PHCE Headquarters, and Spec. Jose Armendariz, from Public Health Activity-Italy, Vicenza.

The winner of the USAMMCE competition will compete for the NCO/Warrior of the year at the United States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in Fort Detrick, Md., and the winner of Public Health Command Europe's competition will compete at the Regional Health Command Europe NCO and Warrior of the year competition.

Sgt. Maj. Jose Raymundo, USAMMCE Sergeant Major, coordinated the competition between the two units.

"I am very proud of our Soldiers for their dedication and hard work during this competition," Raymundo said. "It feels great that we were able to create this unique partnership event to benefit our Soldiers. By sharing knowledge, and experience across our Army, we make our Army stronger, and our Soldiers are better prepared to face the challenges of a complex world.

"In addition to selecting our best NCOs and Warriors to represent our organizations at their respective regional-level competitions, we are training all of our Soldiers who compete. A better prepared Soldier today, will be more a more lethal Soldier tomorrow. My goal and dream is to expand this partnership to other organizations across Europe."

Master Sgt. Gina Egan, PHCE Sergeant Major, said the collaboration was beneficial for both units.
"I'm very appreciative of USAMMCE being willing to consolidate efforts within our two commands to bring on a tough, realistic, and comprehensive competition," Egan said. "I know that each and every person who contributed to this event provided their maximum effort. Every Soldier who competed was challenged to the point where they had to do that 'gut check' and push themselves to the limits. To see just how much each and every Soldier was able to achieve and complete within this competition makes me realize that I have leaders at every level training and mentoring Soldiers to be their absolute best and ensuring a ready force."

Winners of the Best Warrior competition not only earned the right to represent their units at the next level of competition, they were also awarded trophies and gift cards, courtesy of USAA and AUSA.

USAMMCE competitors:
• Spec. Kyle Buchanan
• Spec. Oscar Villanueva
• Private 1st Class Steven Martinez (WINNER)
• Private 1st Class Anzor Zao

PHCE Competitors:
• Sgt. Hyungsuk An, Public Health Activity Rheinland-Pfalz, Ansbach
• Sgt. Waggoner Spurlen, PHCE Higher Headquarters Detachment (WINNER)
• Spec. Shawn Ermicke, PHA Rheinland-Pfalz, Hohenfels
• Spec. Jose Armendariz, Public Health Activity-Italy, Vicenza) (WINNER)