By Sgt. Shameeka R. StanleyApril 12, 2018
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HAWAII-- The Best Warrior Competition is more than just a competition. It represents the commitment and ability of Soldiers and noncommissioned Officers (NCOs) to be able to conquer any given situation using their basic soldier skills.
Soldiers assigned to the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater (MIB-T) compete for the title of best warrior Mar. 26-29, 2018. The competitors selected are the best of the best in the Brigade, all competing for one goal, to be titled Soldier of the Year and NCO of the Year.
"After [winning] Battalion [Best Warrior], we stepped up the training a little bit," said Spc. Brady Rogotzke, a signals analyst assigned to B Company 205th Military Intelligence (MI) Battalion, 500th MIB-T. "Things got a little more intense but we were training as much as we can during the weekend."
A total of four Soldiers and three NCOs participated in the four-day event which consisted of various grueling challenges that pushed them past their physical and mental limits, with a few surprises along the way.
Just before the break of day, the competition began with a 12-mile Foot March, immediately followed by M4 and M9 weapons qualifications and a stress shoot. The stress shoot consisted of the competitors carrying eight 5-gallon water containers, low-crawling, immediately followed by shooting the M4 and M9 and evacuating a casualty on a skedko (stretcher).
"Within this competition, if you stop to think about everything you were doing, you were going to lose", said Rogotzke. "Everything is timed, so I just thought I'm just going to do it."
Despite the physical and mental challenges, the competitors continued to give their all and push through every event.
"One thing we pushed on during the training is muscle memory, because when you're tired like that, you don't have time to stop and think," said Rogotzke. "So you try to get that muscle memory down when you're doing this stuff. When you're tired, you blank out your mind and muscles do everything."
As the competitors progress through each event in the competition, the challenges became even greater. Between the heat and humidity throughout the competition and running through the obstacle course with combat gear weighing 30lbs, the competitors have certainly proven their ability to adapt and keep going until the mission is complete through any circumstance.
"This time around, I was trying to prepare myself a little bit more," said Sgt. Jennifer M. Reeves, a signals intelligence analyst assigned to B Company, 205th MI Battalion. "I knew it was going to be with a different group of people who already won at their Battalion's, so I just tried to prepare myself as best as I could."
"The events were definitely harder this time, a little more tough but it was a really good experience," Reeves added.
Although all of the competitors fought a good fight, there could only be one winner for best Soldier and NCO of the Year.
The winners are Sgt. Jennifer M. Reeves and Spc. Brady Rogotzke, both assigned to B Co, 205th MI BN. Reeves and Rogotzke will move on to compete in the Intelligence & Security Command (INSCOM) Best Warrior Competition this summer.
"It was a super close competition," said Reeves. "Even if I didn't win, it would still be worth it just to compete because those guys are really good," said Reeves.