By Sgt. Casey HustinOctober 2, 2018
CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - Throughout the year, international soldiers have traveled to Camp Bondsteel to prove their warrior skillsets in several competitions for the title of "Best Warrior" of Multi-National Battle Group-East. The 19 winners of those competitions were at Camp Bondsteel Sept. 24-25 to participate in a final competition to earn them the title of "Best Warrior" of the rotation.
Spc. Zachary Wolfe, a Fleming Island, Florida native and Military Police driver with the 977th Military Police Company, 97th MP Battalion, 89th MP Brigade based in Fort Riley, Kansas, won the title of Best Junior Enlisted Warrior.
"It feels good to win," said Wolfe. "I was nervous, I didn't think I would pull it off."
Wolfe who was in an Army Air Assault course in Grafenwoehr, Germany, up until the Sunday prior to the competition, had little time to prepare.
During the two-day technical and tactical competition competitors faced challenges, including a physical fitness test, long-distance run, a ruck march, individual movement techniques, an Engagement Skills Trainer, a written exam, land navigation, a medical care and evacuation lane, radio communications, a moving target range, clearing a field house and a grenade simulation range.
"It was a very difficult competition," said Wolfe. "We didn't have any time to rest. It was just back to back to back."
The title "Best (Noncommissioned Officer) Warrior" was earned by Sgt. Alexander Haynes, an emergency care sergeant from San Jose, California, serving with the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado.
"A weight was lifted off my chest," said Haynes. "I gave it my all during this thing and I thought I was going to lose it right at the very end."
The international competitors enjoyed testing their endurance and skillsets against one another, fostering an interoperable environment, which pushed them to greater achievement.
"The Polish competitor who ran like the wind was the reason I ran so hard," said Haynes. "I would not have tried as hard as I did if I didn't have to chase him."
Polish Coy competitor, OR-1 Stelmacher was the highest scoring international competitor.
Haynes used his time to prepare for the competition by brushing up on doctrine and tasks he hadn't used since basic training, he said.
Wearing their kits, the warrior competitors moved on foot from station to station, completing each task.
Haynes agreed that the hardest challenge for him was also the constant go of the competition.
Wolfe challenged future competitors to push through the competition. "Stick it in your mind that you're going to keep going," said Wolfe. "Don't quit."