FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. -- As a Soldier, if you do not challenge yourself, you are just another Soldier.

Competing in an Army Best Warrior competition sets a Soldier apart from his peers; the experience, the camaraderie, the physical and mental toughness make every competitor a winner, regardless if he moves on to the next level.

Spc. Alexander Musarra, Company B, 782nd Military Intelligence (MI) Battalion (Cyber), 780th MI Brigade (Cyber), the top Soldier; and Staff Sgt. Melanie Wahl, 741st MI Battalion, 704th MI Brigade, the top noncommissioned officer, were crowned the champions of the 2018 North Region U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) Best Warrior Competition (BWC) in a ceremony at Club Meade, May 11.

Though she was not selected to move on, Sgt. Savannah Matelski, Company D, 781st Military Intelligence (MI) Battalion (Cyber), 780th MI Brigade (Cyber), enjoyed challenging herself alongside the other competitors.

"No regrets," said Matelski. "I would recommend the competition to my Soldiers because it tests their limits on other Army skills rather than always staying focused on our missions in cyber."
Matelski also said the competition identifies your strengths and weaknesses.

"Army Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills -- those tend to be neglected in [cyber] units," said Matelski. "I'll bring those back to my company and train my Soldiers on that."

For Musarra, the BWC is an event in which he really enjoys participating.

"As hard and as grueling as it was, and I've been through three competitions, I'm hooked on it," said Musarra. "It's a yardstick to see how well you can do. You don't know what you are capable of until you are put into a competitive environment. It's not even about winning. I love these multi-events, multi-day competitions. You're shooting, running, rucking, assessing a casualty, land nav (navigation) -- I can't get enough of it."

While Matelski's journey is over, Musarra will move forward to the INSCOM-level competition in June, and he comes away from the event better prepared for the next one.

"I did make some mistakes, but I'll never make them again," said Musarra. "Win or lose, I'm coming out of this a better Soldier."