Tuesday marks the beginning of the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School's Best CBRN Warrior Competition and the 3rd Chemical Brigade promises it is one competitors won't soon forget.
"It's the 100th anniversary -- you won't get this one again, not in our lifetime. This is a great way to say happy birthday to our regiment for a century of existence," said. Col. Dale Crockett, 3rd Chemical Brigade commander. "This will be a very unique experience for those who participate and one that won't be replicated in most of our careers or lifetimes."
The goal was to find tasks that would highlight both the unique skills and tools of the Chemical Corps, but also test competitors on Soldiering skills.
"What we've done is we've kind of balanced both," he said. "We're going to have them show their capabilities not only on the unique CBRN technical tasks associated with our business, but also the warrior tasks associated with moving with the maneuver guys. On top of that, we're going to have them walking a lot, a lot of road marching."
Maj. Nicholas Bell, brigade operations officer, agreed.
"We're trying to find the best CBRN warrior, so we'll have a fair amount of all those technical skills that we want to test those guys on, along with combatives and qualifying," he said. "It's definitely a good mixing pot of our technical CBRN skills with the warrior-task skills."
Crockett said they pulled ideas and pieces from competitions such as Best Sapper and Best Ranger as well as his past experiences.
One event, named "The Burden," is being compared to the Best Sapper's X-Mile Run. Organizers won't give out details, but said the event contains various mentally and physically strenuous events paired with CBRN-specific tasks.
"Because we haven't had one of these in the past few years, we want to put our best foot forward so we can have it continue," Crockett said. "We've got (Soldiers) coming in from Alaska, from Korea and all over the continental United States."
He stressed safety of the competitors is a concern they are taking seriously due to the competition taking place during Missouri's hot, and typically humid, summer weather.
"I hope they are in shape and very well hydrated," he said. "We don't want to have a heat casualty, so we'll have roving patrols, static and mobile water points, and at every station they will dunk in the arm-immersion cooler -- it will be mandatory. We're going to try keeping that core temperature under control during the entire event."
Crockett said the week will culminate with an awards ceremony at noon June 23 on Gammon Field. The community is encouraged to attend the ceremony in support of this event.
"This is really an opportunity for us to highlight some of our best and the unique skills and tools that we provide our war-fighting community," he said. "It's an opportunity for us to highlight our heroes."