By Ignacio "Iggy" RubalcavaApril 26, 2013
Soldiers from throughout IMCOM-Europe put their warrior skills to the test at Baumholder April 15-18. After four rigorous days of Soldiering, Sgt. Bryan Teneyck and Spc. Jonathan Grates, both assigned to the U.S. Army Garrison Benelux in Brussels, were named as Best Warrior Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year.
The competition tested everything from their physical fitness to their oral and written communication skills with events like the Army Physical Fitness Test, an appearance before a board of brigade command sergeants major and an essay and written examination. Other tasks included marksmanship, combatives, day and night land navigation and a 12-mile foot march with combat gear.
Putting a competition like this together requires an installation with top notch resources and a dedicated group of Soldiers to make it happen. Baumholder was the facility of choice and the task of making it all happen fell to the Soldiers of the U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder, Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment. Leading the team was Sgt. 1st Class Benett P. Langley, assigned to Baumholder's Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.
"It was an honor serving as a liaison officer for the 2013 IMCOM-E Best Warrior Competition," said Langley.
"My other battle buddies who helped make the Best Warrior Competition a big success were 1st Lt. Steven Waldrop and Sgt. 1st Class Leonard McFarlane," he said. Waldrop, Langley and McFarlane put in long hours to ensure the competition ran smoothly.
Other members of the team who helped put the competition together included HHD USAG Baumholder members Master Sgt. Rob Pike, Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Jackson, Sgt. Michelle Girscher, Sgt. Zurena Milanes, Pfc. Rosa Trujillo and Pfc. Haley Wilson. Dental Clinic support came from Sgt. 1st Class Janice Barnett and Staff Sgt. Marquita Odum. Sgt. Christopher Deeb from the Directorate of Emergency Services also contributed to the effort as well as Pfc. Donte Jones and Pfc. Michael Smith from the 16th Sustainment Brigade. "The competition couldn't have been a big success without their support," said Langley.
The Best Warrior competition also drew support from other agencies that worked behind the scenes to make the event a success. Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation provided PT jerseys and mats; the bowling center provided tables; Outdoor Recreation pitched in with canopies; the Training Support Center provided training aids and the Education Center assisted with the oral and written board.
"The competition was not an easy week for the Soldiers who supported the events by setting up and tearing down each site. There were days we would be setting up the lanes at 6:30 a.m. and not going home until after 9 p.m.," said Langley. The longest day for the support team started at 6 a.m. and concluded at 1 a.m. the following day, only to be followed by a 4:30 a.m. wakeup to get ready for the next event.
Despite the long hours and hard work Langley is prepared to step up and do it again.
"I hope next year's IMCOM-E Best Warrior competition will be held here again. I would love to serve as liaison officer again. I overheard a lot of the competitors, sponsors, senior noncommissioned officers and command sergeants major stating that Baumholder is a great training area, so lots of kudos to Range Control for helping make Baumholder look great," said Langley.
For his support and assistance with the Best Warrior competition, Langley was presented the Army Achievement Medal during the awards ceremony.
"Being part of the competition and around all the competitors made me feel proud to be an NCO in the United States Army. It is what we do; we train and lead Soldiers," said Langley.