FORT BUCHANAN, PR- The U.S. Army Reserve 1st Mission Support Command selected two of its Soldiers, among thousands of Soldiers assigned, as the best warriors in the Caribbean, March 16, after a week of an intense contest during the Best Warrior Competition 2018.

The elite Soldiers are Sgt. Carlos Fuentes and Private 1st Class Alejandro M. Alcalá.

"It's been a challenge and in the beginning I struggled with some things but in the others where I could give 100% I gave 150% of me!," said Alcalá, a native of Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, shortly after one of the events.

"Competing in the Best Warrior is a great opportunity because I can improve my Soldier skills, marksmanship, evaluating casualties, land navigation, things that are very important for survival in a tactical zone," added Fuentes, a native of Orocovis, Puerto Rico.

The Best Warrior Competition recognizes Soldiers who demonstrate resolute commitment to the Army values, embody the Warrior Ethos, and represent the Force of the Future.

Some of the events that the Soldiers completed during the week include the Army physical fitness test, squad movement drills, Military Operations on Urban Terrain training, 10k ruck march, first aid, 500 word essay, nine line medevac exercise, and the written Army knowledge test.

It is relevant to mention that both Fuentes and Alcalá were members of the Army Reserve disaster response operations during the aftermath of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

"Being activated during the hurricane recovery operations means a lot because when you participate in that kind of event you see up close the suffering of the people, you live it yourself in person, and you feel it. You become a better person if you can feel that for yourself and you can help," said Fuentes while reflecting about his role during the most critical days of the emergency.

Alcalá also expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve during times of need. "I feel great that I was serving my nation and my country right here in the island. I am very happy about that," he said.

After earning the title of The Best Warriors in the Caribbean they will go on to compete at the national level in the U.S. Army Reserve Command Best Warrior Competition.