By Mr. Mike Bowers (Leonard Wood)August 25, 2016
When noncommissioned officers and Soldiers descend on Fort Leonard Wood for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's 2016 Best Warrior Competition, the names of the winners will be the only uncertainty.
Nothing will be left to chance, as Fort Leonard Wood is the first installation to host the event outside of the Virginia area for the past 13 years.
Event organizers have set a criteria of conducting a world-class, professionally planned and executed competition.
"When TRADOC decided to host the event at various centers of excellence, we stepped up to the plate and asked to be the host," said Sgt. Maj. Mitch Prater, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence G3/5/7 sergeant major.
"We wanted to set the conditions for success, show what right looks like and showcase the professionalism of Fort Leonard Wood service members," Prater said.
Command Sgt. Maj. Roy Ward, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood command sergeant major, detailed his expectations during the final IPR, or in-process review, on Aug. 18 for the competition scheduled Sunday through Sept. 1.
"Our event will showcase the top Soldiers and NCOs who are the very best warriors across the TRADOC enterprise," Ward said of the competition held under the theme "Fit, Disciplined, Well Trained."
"Ensuring a great event takes communication, resources, sticking with proper protocols, a focus on safety and constant reassessing throughout the competition," he said.
More than 150 Soldiers and civilians are involved in creating and running the competition that will determine TRADOC's Soldier and NCO representative at the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition.
"In addition to coordination with the TRADOC staff in every level of detail, the competition takes massive amounts of time, meetings, rehearsals and planning," Prater said. "The competition will ultimately involve almost everyone on the post."
Competitors will be put through a weeklong competition that will test them physically and mentally. The warrior test begins upon their arrival and won't end until the winners are announced, according to Prater.
He said the competition is modeled around the Army's event, but with some twists to "be sure we select the best of the competitors."
That final best warrior selection will be the result of fair and precise grading.
"There is only one standard for any given task," Prater said. "We use that standard in rehearsal after rehearsal to give us the confidence that the evaluators are subject-matter-experts in their grading area."
Ward concurred. "Competitors will be evaluated by standard -- Army standard," Ward added.
"We will challenge them mentally, physically and treat them fairly with dignity and respect," Ward said. "We want them and observers to see that Fort Leonard Wood is among the most professional of teams."
Winners of the TRADOC competition at Fort Leonard Wood will compete at the 15th annual Army Best Warrior Competition Sept. 26 to Oct. 3 at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia.