By Sgt. Jack W. Carlson III, 49th Missile Defense Bn.April 28, 2009
FORT GREELY, Alaska- Three very challenging weeks have passed for a select few "Best Warriors" from the 49th Missile Defense Battalion., 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based Midcourse Defense) who have been competing for the titles of Soldier/NCO of the Year.
"By having both Reserve and Active Component chain of command, the battalion has a unique opportunity to showcase our Soldiers abilities at both competitions; the pool of talent our battalion possesses is really immense," said Command Sgt. Maj. Bradford Quigley, Command Sergeant Major 49th MDBn. (GMD).
Both local Active and Reserve Component Best Warrior competitions took place this month here. Just this weekend the Alaska Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Fort Richardson named the top Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer in the Alaska Army National Guard.
Representing the 49th MDBn. at the state "RC" competition were Staff Sgt. Duane Ostrowski and Spc. James Bates, both military police officers with the GBI Military Police Security Company here. Ostrowski went on to win the title of NCO of the Year for the Alaska Army National Guard, and will represent the state during the Army National Guard Region 6 Competition at Fort Lewis later in the month.
Prior to competing in the state board, the Reserve Component winners spent most of their free time studying and training to prepare themselves to compete at the next level.
"We spent a lot of time preparing for board questions, learning Army doctrine, and improving our physical endurance. Being able to sit in on the Active Component competition was really helpful and provided insight into some areas where I can improve," said Ostrowski.
While assisting in the execution of the local Active Component competition, Bates and Ostrowski motivated the local competitors while still being able to study the intricacies in competing against some of the best warriors the Army has to offer.
"Each and every event tested us mentally and physically, some more than others. The Land Navigation course while carrying a ruck stands out as being a great way to show our physical as well as our mental abilities. This particular event gave each individual Soldier a chance to conduct something that our full time mission does not," said Sgt. Brandon Amarone, who won Fort Greely Active Component NCO of the Year.
The Soldiers who won in these competitions represent one of the battalion's missions--to secure and defend the Missile Defense Complex as Military Police Officers. The requirements necessary to excel in this and future competitions require long hours of training and preparation as well as commitment to leading others.