By Capt. Sean DelpechMarch 6, 2017
FORT A.P. HILL, Va -- Army Reserve Soldiers from around the 310th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and the 3rd Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) came to show their Warrior skills and contend in the 310th ESC 2017 Best Warrior Competition, held here from Feb. 23 - 27, 2017.
The Soldiers and non-commissioned officers came to compete in events beginning with an equipment layout, a written essay and a written exam on day one of the Best Warrior.
The second day of the competition consisted of the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), and then weapons training with the 9mm pistol weapons range and the M16 weapons range, followed with an Army Warrior task assessment.
The third day included a combined day and night land navigation.
On day four, the competitors went through a combatives training and competition, and an 8-mile ruck march.
The competition culminated with the final events on day five, with participating Soldiers appearing before the command sergeants major board.
There's now some history with this jointly held best warrior competition. The competition is continuing what has become a strong partnership between the 310th ESC and the 3rd TBX as the two units have come together for two years now in planning and conducting the competition.
"Despite a delay in start that resulted in a short time for planning and execution," Command Sgt. Maj. Susie Sewell, senior enlisted advisor for the 3rd TBX said, "the 3rd TBX and the 310th ESC were able to come together for a great competition this year."
The 310th ESC and the 3rd TBX sent their top Soldiers and noncommissioned officers to compete at the BWC, but only two will go on to represent the units in the 377th Theater Sustainment Command Best Warrior Competition in May, 2016, where they will compete with Soldiers from every major Army Reserve command.
The joint partnership for the 2017 Best Warrior wasn't the only exceptional bridge built for this year's competition. The drill instructors from B C0 2/317th Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 104th Training Division were on hand to assess and train competitors throughout the competition.
"Drill instructors carry the torch as a symbol of the subject matter expert, bringing expertise in the tasks the Soldiers competing in the Best Warrior will be tested on," said Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Shaun C. Vandyke, a drill instructor from B C0 2nd Battalion, 317th Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 104th Training Division, headquartered in Salem, Va.
"Whatever the task, we expect them to do it right," continued Vandyke, "and the partnership between the 310th ESC, 3rd TBX and the 2nd Battalion, 317th Regiment upped the ante on the expected level of proficiency for the Soldiers competing this year."
Preparation for a best warrior competition begins months in advance, with most Soldiers sacrificing countless hours of personal time to physical fitness, Warrior Task proficiency training, and weapons training.
"The Best Warrior, much like the Audie Murphy Board and other measures of professional excellence carries on the tradition of the NCO and the Soldier," said Command Sgt. Maj. Scott A. Hinton, the senior enlisted advisor for the 310th ESC.
"These Soldiers will take everything that they have, and they'll take it all back to their unit with them," said Hinton. "So we want to make sure that we give them training," continued Hinton, "we give them an opportunity to learn, we give them the chance to compete, but we also want them to go back more knowledgeable to pass that along."
It is important that the Soldiers who compete in this year's best warrior competition use the knowledge and experience they gained back at their home stations.
"Our participants this year will be prime motivators to recruit competitors for next year," said Sewell. "The key to success are the senior NCO's, who will empower our Soldiers to devote their time and effort to the next Best Warrior," continued Sewell.
"Each year we improve the Best Warrior program, and each year we get a little better at it, but recruiting is always the most important component of the BWC, so we ask our current competitors to go back to their units and talk about what they did here and to mentor their fellow Soldiers to become future Best Warrior Competitors.