By Sgt. 1st Class Christopher FinchamMay 29, 2009
Intelligence Soldiers take annual Warrior competition challenge
Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Fincham
116th Military Intelligence Group
FORT GORDON, Ga.--(May 29, 2009) Soldiers and Noncommissioned officers from the 116th Military Intelligence Group faced off against one another May 18-21 during the unit's annual Warrior of the Year Competition.
Four Soldiers and four noncommissioned officers confronted a wide array of challenges throughout the multi-day event. The competitors completed numerous events over a four-day period. Army Warrior Tasks including day and night land navigation, reacting to an improvised explosive device, zeroing and qualifying on their assigned weapon as well as a standard Army Physical Fitness Test challenged everyone's mental and physical endurance, according to the competitors.
"The most challenging part of the competition for me was definitely the long-haul day in the field followed up by the PT test," explained Spc. Joshua Solois, a cryptologic linguist. "I don't think I've had that much mental and physical pain and fatigue wracking my body ever."
"All you know is that you are out there tired, but you have to give it your all," said Spc. Alicia Lyman, a 206th MI Battalion paralegal and current Fort Gordon Soldier of the Year.
The most surprising challenge during the competition may have been the highly secretive mystery event. This year's secret obstacle challenged the competitors to a drill and ceremony course. Each Soldier and NCO had to organize an eight-Soldier element and navigate them throughout a course marked with various points. The movements and commands were required to be precise and executed directly on each point.
"It's challenging." It's something that we should all be able to do - just not something we do very often," said Sgt. Ian McFarland, a multimedia illustrator.
"I was expecting a bear fight," said Sgt. Brittany Staley, a cryptologic linguist. "And frankly, I would have preferred it."
When the dust settled one NCO and one Soldier were named the unit's best. The 116th MI Group 2009 Warriors of the Year are Staff Sgt. Mathew Magallanez and Spc. Alicia Lyman.