By Mike Bassett, ASC Public AffairsJuly 13, 2016
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - Sgt. Henrique "Mag" Magalhaes, chaplain's assistant, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, competed in U.S. Army Materiel Command's Best Warrior Competition, Camp Atterbury Indiana, July 7 - 9.
Magalhaes, who at the previously held ASC Best Warrior Competition said "my faith shall not be broken," was selected with 11 others from a pool of thousands of Soldiers in AMC.
Soldiers from U.S. Army Sustainment Command; U.S. Army Security Assistance Command; Communications-Electronics Command; U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command; U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command; U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command; and U.S. Army Surface Deployment and Distribution Command converged at Camp Atterbury to begin the competition on July 7.
In the competition's opening speech, Command Sgt. Maj. James Sims compared the four-star level competition to the Super Bowl, the World Series and the Olympics, and asked competitors to compete against themselves, not each other.
"What I expect of you all for the next few days is for you to be the very best Soldier and non-commissioned officer you can be. You are not to compete against each other, you are to compete against yourself," Sims said.
"We want our Soldiers in AMC to have the confidence to survive anywhere, anytime, as required," Sims said.
"I'm ready to face whatever challenge they put forward, ready to take it head-on," Magalhaes said.
Unlike the four-day long ASC Best Warrior Competition, the AMC competition was condensed into a non-stop, action-packed series of back-to-back challenges spanning a grueling and intense 48-hour period.
In the first 24 hours of the competition, Magalhaes successfully completed a physical training test, map reading and written tests, a land navigation course, marched 18 miles in full gear with a 35-pound rucksack.
The next morning he qualified on the M2 .50-caliber machine gun, M240(b) machine gun, M249 squad assault rifle, M4 carbine, and M9mm pistol.
The 12 Soldiers had no information on the timeline of events or missions, operated on very little sleep, and ate on the go amid high temperatures, humidity, and a heavy thunderstorm.
"What we're looking for is their ability to think fast, think on their feet, and then handle the situation that they're in," said Sgt. Maj. Todd Vance, Army Materiel Command.
The following and final day's events included a 12-mile forced march with a 70-pound rucksack, gas chamber station, improvised explosive device lane, a "mystery event" that required competitors to reassemble three weapons systems from a mixed box of stripped components, and a six-station obstacle course which included an Army combatives skills evaluation.
"We don't know who we're going to fight tomorrow. We don't know when we're going to fight, but the intent is to ensure our Soldiers have the confidence so when that time comes, and they get the phone call from their chain of command; they're ready," Sims said.
"The competition is 40 percent physical and 60 percent mental," he said. "My faith carried my body through the competition," Magalhaes said.
The winner of the AMC Best Warrior Competition will be announced at an upcoming Redstone Arsenal event, and the winner will then advance to the Army Best Warrior Competition, Fort A.P. Hill Virginia, Sept. 26 - Oct. 3.