By Jason CutshawApril 24, 2018
LANDSTUHL, Germany - From the old world to a new frontier, four space Soldiers competed to be named the best as they faced off in the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's European Region Best Warrior Competition April 17-19 in Landstuhl and Baumholder, Germany.
Soldiers competing were Sgt. Andrew Figgins, an engagement control team leader, and Spc. Michael Rowland, a mechanic, both from A Detachment, 1st Space Battalion located at Stuttgart, Germany; and Staff Sgt. Kendall Feb, a senior wideband controller, and Spc. Aaron Boyers, a satellite network controller, both from C Company, 53rd Signal Battalion, located at Landstuhl.
After three days of physical and mental testing including an Army Physical Fitness Test; a written test and essay; a Soldier administrative board; weapons disassembling and reassembling; combatives; day and night land navigation; various situations training exercises; a 12-mile ruck march; and weapons qualification in an engagement skills trainer; Feb was named the noncommissioned officer winner and Boyers was named the Soldier winner.
"All the competitors put forth outstanding effort," said 1st Space Battalion Command Sgt. Maj. David W. Williams. "Just to come to a competition like this and give their all with the different facets they had to go through, and not quit, shows a lot about the Soldiers intestinal fortitude and their drive to be successful. I believe they are going to do quite well in SMDC's overall competition."
After being announced as the winners, Feb and Boyers took a moment to discuss the next step and what it will take to be named SMDC's best warriors.
"This was a challenge, and I love challenges," Feb said. "I look for challenges at every corner and this is one of the avenues I hope to take to the next level. The competition was great and we all pushed ourselves 100 percent every step of the way."
Boyers also spoke about the tempo and the many challenges all the competitors faced and the inner strength and support it takes to accomplish such a goal.
"This feels great," Boyers said. "It was a good competition and a great event overall. I am as happy to win as I am happy for this challenge to be finished. It was a good week and I am looking forward to the next step."
Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Flores, C Company, 53rd Signal Battalion operations platoon sergeant, said he couldn't think of two better Soldiers to represent the command any better, and hopefully their performance and experience at the command's overall competition will encourage other Soldiers to accept the challenge in the future.
"The way the Soldiers performed is exactly how they trained," Flores said. "The thing that sets these Soldiers and NCOs apart is that they truly wanted to participate in this competition and they wanted to show they were unique and stand apart from their peers.
"Their actions and the results from the competition showed their dedication," he added. "They are Soldiers I love to serve with."
The 1st Space Battalion detachment noncommissioned officer spoke about his Soldiers' dedication and the warrior spirit they demonstrated throughout the competition.
"The Soldiers performed at a very high level against great competitors from our brother unit," said Sgt. 1st Class Chauncey Carter, A Detachment, 1st Space Battalion detachment NCO. "All of the competitors did well and I am especially proud of our Soldiers. They came here and put forth the maximum effort and they overcame a lot of challenging obstacles during this competition.
"I am very proud of our Soldiers and I couldn't ask for anything more from them," he added.
Feb and Boyers received the Army Achievement Medal for their accomplishments. USASMDC/ARSTRAT's command-level Best Warrior Competition is scheduled for June 4-8 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.