By Sgt. 1st Class Lyndon Miller, 412th Theater Engineer CommandApril 28, 2013
FORT DEVENS, Mass. -- After five, grueling days of striving, the 412th Theater Engineer Command's 2013 Best Warrior Competition is over and two Soldiers have risen to the top to claim the title "Best Warrior."
Sgt. Daniel R. Ryan, 26, a combat engineer with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 365th Engineer Battalion, 411th Engineer Brigade, and Cpl. Martin T. Norment, 22, a combat engineer, 366th Engineer Company, 479th Engineer Battalion, 411th Engineer Brigade, secured the title in the noncommissioned officer and soldier categories respectively.
Staff Sgt. Christopher Williams, 441th Engineer Company, 467th Engineer Battalion, 926th Engineer Brigade, and Spc. Matthew Hagy, 733th Engineer Company, 844th Engineer Battalion, 926th Engineer Brigade, were the runners-up.
Awards were presented to the winners during a ceremony at Fort Deven's, Mass. April 26.
"It's definitely an honor to win," Ryan said, a Woodbridge, N.Y. native. "I was just happy to be here to compete and represent my unit."
Although the BWC is about the efforts of an individual Soldier competing against other individual Soldiers, Ryan expressed solidarity and respect for those Soldiers he was up against.
"It's an honor to be counted among the high caliber of NCOs and Soldiers that were participating," Ryan said.
The M9 pistol qualification was one of the tested events. Ryan had never fired the weapon previously. All competitors received familiarization training on the weapon right before they fired for qualification. Ryan scored a perfect score of 40 out of 40.
Although, Norment felt "very proud" of his personal victory, he quickly acknowledged others who helped with him reach this point.
"I owe a lot to my sponsor 1st Sgt. Lee MacKay," Norment said, a native of Brockport, N.Y. He "helped me out a lot." MacKay is with the 479th Engineer Battalion, 411th Engineer Brigade.
Like Ryan, Norment also spoke well of others in the competition. "I'm very impressed with the other soldiers I met of the 412th TEC," he said." I think they're a motivated bunch of soldiers. They came out here and gave it their all."
Staff Sgt. Williams was the runner up in the NCO category and Spc. Hagy the runner up in the Soldier category.
Maj. Gen. William M. Buckler, Jr., commanding general of the 412th TEC, attended the awards ceremony.
"We're going to pass out some awards and we're going to recognize the winners," he said, emphasizing that only the best will be crowned.
Buckler went on to say to the competitors, "You're all winners, or you wouldn't be here."
When the 302nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade was tasked last year to host the Best Warrior Competition, Command Sgt. Maj. Cedric Green, noncommissioned officer in charge of the 412th TEC 2013 Best Warrior Competition, asked himself, "So, what makes a warrior?"
During the awards ceremony, Green said a warrior is one who is reluctant to tap-out in the combatives competition, or a Soldier who endures the cold during the land navigation event.
"This is the Best Warrior Competition," he said, "this is not the best top chef, or the best cup-cake maker, or whatever show they have on TV."
We were not only looking "to have a good time," Green said. "We were looking for the best of the best."
Ryan and Norment, the best of the best of the 412th TEC, will represent the command at the United States Army Reserve Command's Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy, Wis. June 23-28, 2013.