By Ms. Mary Ann Davis (IMCOM)March 9, 2018
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- Army garrisons in Europe will send their top warfighters to Baumholder, Germany, to demonstrate their soldiering abilities at the 2018 Installation Command-Europe Best Warrior Competition, March 12-14 -- and U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz is up for the challenge.
BWC 2018 will identify the best performing warriors from among the participating garrison commands in both the Soldier and NCO ranks, through the performance of a tough, realistic, scenario-based and battle-focused competition.
"This year's competition, held over almost three grueling days, will select our very best NCO and Soldier Warrior from within the IMCOM-Europe Garrison team," said USAG RP Command Sgt. Maj. Brian N. Hauke. "This individual will have demonstrated he or she is the very best mentally fit, physically fit, expert in rifle marksman, knowledgeable in Level 1/2 warrior skills NCO and Soldier out there."
Representing USAG RP is Sgt. Jorge Brackett, a military police investigator with the Directorate of Emergency Services. Brackett, who participated in BWC 2017, said he's ready to compete.
"Last year, I feel like I surprised not only myself, but my mentors when I placed runner up," he said. "Since I competed last year, my experience should help me know what to expect -- basic Army tasks as well as a lot of physical tasks. It definitely pushed me to my limit."
This year's event is hosted by USAG RP and will take place at Baumholder -- affectionately called, "The Rock."
"I'm on my home turf, so traveling and whatnot isn't a factor," Brackett explained. "I know the area and have been preparing in Baumholder to get ready."
USAG RP's best warrior is a gym enthusiast and has been preparing on his own for six months by performing a great deal of cardio as well as rucking and running hills to perform at optimal level for the rigorous three-day competition.
"The ruck route makes me the most nervous, because I know rucking is not my best attribute," said Brackett, who hails from East Lyme, Conn. "However, I am excited to see which route we end up using. Also, I know that I will be competing against a great friend and previous leader of mine, Sgt. Jeremy Lucena (USAG Bavaria). He taught me pretty much everything I know today, and I can't wait to see how well I do against him."
Although rucking might be a skill Brackett is working on, he was more confident about his land navigation abilities as a strength.
"To me, competing in BWC is important so I can see where I'm at Army-task wise. Since I'm in a garrison, I don't really get a chance to go to the field or train like you would in a line unit -- that's what makes it fun. BWC also gives me the chance to improve my skills when I do go back to a line unit," he said. "Most of all, I'm proud to represent USAG RP again and thankful to my peers and leadership that provided me an opportunity to compete."
Over the course of the competition, it really becomes a mental gut check for the competitors who wants it the most when it comes down to it, said Hauke.
"Make no mistake, however, these competitors must be knowledgeable in the war fighting craft first and foremost. Yes, they are physically challenged, but more importantly, they are mentally challenged on their skill knowledge and ability to make decisions when it matters the most," the command sergeant major said. "I wish all our competitors from across the Europe garrisons the best of luck, however, we're especially proud and rooting for our very own Sgt. Jorge Brackett from USAG Rheinland-Pfalz during this year's competition."
Winners of the IMCOM-Europe BWC will participate at the command level and ultimately at the Department of the Army level for the titles of Army Non-Commissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year. These competitions enhance morale, esprit de corps and professionalism; promote a wholesome spirit of competiveness within and among our organizations; and provide recognition for Soldiers who have outstanding military appearance, bearing and military knowledge.
For BWC daily updates, check out the USAG RP Facebook page at www.facebook.com/army.rp/, Flickr at www.flickr.com/photos/usag_rp/, Instagram at www.instagram.com/usag_rp/ and Twitter at www.twitter.com/usag_rp.