By Jocelyn M. BroussardJune 10, 2019
FORT A.P. HILL, Va. -- The U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) hosted its 2019 Best Warrior Competition (BWC) during the week of June 1-5.
Soldiers competing represented the best of the best from three geographic regional competitions, and two categories (Noncommissioned officers and Soldiers). Their single goal, conquering the four-day mental and physical challenges, leading one Soldier and one noncommissioned officer (NCO) to victory.
On June 6, the INSCOM winners were announced by Sgt. 1st Class Peter Heap, the BWC event noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) during an award ceremony held at INSCOM headquarters, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Sgt. Kyle Tamraz, a signal intelligence analyst from the 780th Military Intelligence (MI) Brigade, was titled the INSCOM Best Warrior NCO of the Year.
Spc. Jacob Olive, a wheeled vehicle mechanic from the 66th MI Brigade was titled the INSCOM Best Warrior Soldier of the Year.
Each winner was presented with the Army Commendation Medal by Maj. Gen. Gary Johnston, INSCOM's commanding general, followed by Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Schmitz, INSCOM's command sergeant major, presenting the winners with a bronze trophy.
Tamaraz, a Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania native, assigned to the 781st MI Battalion (Cyber), 780th MI Brigade, Fort Meade, Maryland, made the competition his number one priority, putting his best foot forward and giving it his all to become the 2019 Best Warrior NCO of the Year.
"Winning the competition is a huge accomplishment for me," said Tamraz "I think the best warrior competition makes you a better soldier because of the dedication and time that has to go into competing. While not only performing your everyday job, you are also constantly studying and preparing for the next level. This also allows you to become a knowledgeable leader that soldiers can go to for advice and questions. I will be focusing on preparing for the board and more warrior tasks and battle drills. I look forward to the next level competition."
The competition made each of the competitors dig deep to push themselves beyond the limits.
INSCOM Best Warrior Solider of the Year, Olive, a Hayfield, Minnesota native, assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 66th MI Brigade, Wiesbaden, Germany, gave credit to his sponsor, and his maintenance team for preparing and motivating him to compete.
"My sponsor and my maintenance team motivated me to compete in this year's competition," said Olive. "Throughout the preparation for this competition, I learn my physical limits and how hard I can push myself."
"I'm happy and proud to have won. I'm thankful to my maintenance team, sergeants and sponsor for helping me to get this far. This competitions showed me my strengths, weaknesses and what I need to continue to work on."
The four-day competition challenged the Soldiers with a variety of tasks to include the Army Physical Fitness Test, an obstacle course, day and night land navigation, weapons systems qualification, situational warfare training exercises, a 12-mile ruck march, the leader's reaction course, a formal board, a written exam and more.
According to Heap, who assisted with the facilitation of the BWC events, this year.
"12 out of the 13 events went as planned," said Heap. "Each of the competitors were determined, competent, and flexible in the face of adversity and came prepared for each event."
"I was impressed by the comradeship the competitors showed to each other," Heap added. "Many of these NCOs and soldiers know each other from previous duty stations and that relationship is evident when they show up to the best warrior competition. Their intent is to beat each other, yet it was quite impressive on events such as the LRC [leaders' reaction course] or 12 mile road march to see the soldiers encouraging each other. This year was different with the amount of fellowship between them."
Tamraz and Olive will move on to the next level, the U.S. Army Cyber Command Best Warrior Competition, scheduled to take place, July 22-26 at Camp Upshur, Quantico,
Both winners expressed gratitude to their leadership, family and friends for supporting them leading up to and throughout the Best Warrior Competition.
Although the Best Warrior Competition is an annual event, the evaluated events are designed to not only test the competitors' skills, strengths and knowledge but it also prepares them for the operating environment as it continues to evolve each year. Readiness is the U.S. Army top priority therefore competitions like these are always a great way to challenge individuals to put their skills into action outside of their unit training.
Congratulations to all the INSCOM BWC competitors for your hard work and commitment.
Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) category:
Sgt. Kyle Tamraz, 780th MI Brigade
Sgt. Ethan Meador, 66th MI Brigade
Spc. Jacob P. Olive, 66th MI Brigade
Spc. Jonathan Carter, 116th MI Brigade
Spc. Eva Perry, 780th MI Brigade