DAEGU, South Korea - Participants from 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, 501st Sustainment Brigade, Materiel Sustainment Command Korea, and 403rd Army Field Sustainment Brigade came head-to-head during 19th ESC's Best Warrior Competition to pick the best warrior in Area IV.
More than 15 junior-enlisted Soldiers, officers, non-commissioned officers and Korean Augmentees to the U.S. Army competed in multiple challenges from April 14 to 16. The participants competed in multiple Soldier proficiencies in preparation and selection for the 8th Army Best Warrior Competition.
The competitors were tested both physically and mentally. Events and tasks included: weapons qualifications under stress, land navigation, water survivability, a physical fitness test and a sergeant major board.
"[The] intent of the competition is to stress Soldiers to prove themselves," said Sodic, command sergeant major for 94th Military Police Battalion, 501st Sustainment Brigade. "By pressing how much body can take, we reinforce the war fighter basics."
During the first day of competition Soldiers qualified with their weapons under stress at Masan range. They wore improved outer tactical vest and had to fire an M4 and M9, and assemble an M2, M4, and M249 while being timed.
On the second day, the competitors assembled for a land navigation course on Camp Carroll Hill 303.
"Land navigation is a perishable skill which needs to be practiced often," said Capt. Matthew Vogele, S-3 movement control officer for 25th Transportation Battalion, 501st Sustainment Brigade. "It is important to know how to navigate [from] one point to another."
Following the land navigation portion, the Soldiers tested their skills on water survivability.
"Water survivability teaches Soldiers to survive under water with their equipment," said Sgt. 1st Class Stephane Lapeine, equal opportunity adviser for 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command. "It is essential to know how to float on water."
On the third day, the competitors began their morning with a functional fitness test at Camp Walker Kelly Gym to test Soldier's overall fitness levels. The final event for the competition consisted of a sergeant major board.
"Representing our units and just doing the best we can for our families and ourselves has helped to keep me motivated," said Pfc. David L'Esperance, SRT member for 2nd MP Co., 94th MP Battalion, 501st Sustainment Brigade."Everyone here is the best from their unit, so it has been a very good competition."
"This competition was so tough," said Pfc. Koo, Bon-ho, KATUSA with SRT, 557th MP Company, 94th MP Battalion, 501st Sustainment Brigade, the winner of 19th ESC Best Warrior Competition KATUSA category. "Without a doubt, I am honored to be representing the 19th ESC KATUSA. It's humbling and it feels great."
"Since 2002 the Army's goal for the Best Warrior Competition has been to select the best warrior to serve as an example for others of what right looks like in our Army," said Jose A. Castillo, command sergeant major of the 19th ESC. "Winners receive trophies, prizes, and bragging rights of owning the coveted title of Soldier, KATUSA, Noncommissioned Officer, and Officer of the Year."
Below are the listed winners and participants:
Best KATUSA Warrior : Pfc. Koo, Bon-ho, Korean Augmentee to U.S. Army with Special Reaction Team, 557 Military Police Company, 94th MP Battalion, 501st Sustainment Brigade
Best Junior-enlisted Soldier Warrior: Pfc. David L'Esperance, Special Reaction Team member for 2nd MP Company, 94th MP Battalion, 501st Sustainment Brigade
Best Noncommissioned officer Warrior: Sgt. Jordan Devall, squad leader for Residential Guard Force, 501st Sustainment Brigade
Best Officer Warrior: 2nd Lt. Joshua R. Cooper, platoon leader for 551st Inland Cargo Transfer Company, 498th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 501st Sustainment Brigade
Best of Best Warrior: Pfc. Koo, Bon-ho
Competitors: Sgt., Julian A. Osrio; Sgt. Kim, Yong-I; Pfc. Darryl H. Jenkins; Pvt. Lashic M. Patterson; 2nd Lt. Brandon Woodard; Staff Sgt. Jerome Lewis; Staff Sgt. Michael Navaro; Sgt. Andrew S. Murphy; Sgt. Luke Sulak; 2nd Lt. Michael Kuemmerlein; Cpl. Joh, Min-sung; Pfc. Chung, Yong-taek.