By Ms. Dawn M Arden (Leonard Wood)June 28, 2018
Team 13 claimed the title 2018 Best CBRN Warrior during an awards ceremony held Saturday on Gammon Field.
The team, consisting of Fort Leonard Wood's own William Mangold and Shawn Meyer, both captains with the 84th Chemical Battalion, 3rd Chemical Brigade, beat 13 other two-person teams from around the Army during the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School's five-day competition.
"I can think of no better way to kick off the 100th anniversary of the Chemical Corps and the celebration of Dragon Soldiers than with this competition," said Brig. Gen. Andy Munera, USACBRNS commandant and 30th chief of chemical. "Nothing describes or embodies the attributes of a Dragon Soldier more than what you did here."
Over the course of the competition, teams were tested mentally and physically while demonstrating their skills in both Soldiering and CBRN-specific tasks. These tasks included rifle marksmanship, combatives, first aid, land navigation and carrying a 40-pound ruck sack while covering more than 25 miles on foot.
"We thought it was going to be pretty tough," Meyer said. "It was a really good competition, it was well put together. I can't wait to see how it improves next year."
Mangold seconded the sentiment.
"I was expecting a really challenging technical and tactical based competition," he said. "It was definitely a challenge. We were rucking from every event, it wears down your feet and your back."
Earlier this year, Mangold and Meyer represented the USACBRNS in the 2018 Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning, Georgia. They agreed that although the Ranger competition is a bit more physically intense, the CBRN competition did well in "stepping up to the plate" in comparison.
"This was definitely more technical versus brute strength," Mangold said. "It was a great competition."
Meyer said he was glad the corps brought back the competition in order to showcase what CBRN Soldiers can do.
"(Some) people see the Chemical Corps as nerds in a way and think we just sit behind a desk doing plotting or something like that," he said. "This competition really shows them that we can do a whole lot more -- we can do rucks with M50 masks and MOP gear, which some infantry people might not even think of doing. We are able to push past that limit and do the same as them."
Taking second place was Team 14, consisting of 1st Lts. David Stults and Joseph Bennett with 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; followed by Team 5 with 1st Lt. John Gary and Staff Sgt. Travon Biggers from the 71st CBRN Company Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
In addition to the Best CBRN Warrior Competition, the USACBRNS is celebrating the Chemical Corps' 100 years of service to the Army and nation throughout the week at Fort Leonard Wood.
More information about the 100-year celebration can be found at: http://ftleonardwoodpresscenter.com/chemical-corps-scheduled-to-celebrate-100-years-of-service/.