By Sgt. Ian Vega-CerezoJune 21, 2019
CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea - Second place isn't bad, but for Sgt. Jeremy Kimbrough, information technology specialist, 2nd Infantry Division/Republic of Korea-U.S. Combined Division, coming in second at the 2ID/RUCD Best Warrior Competition at Camp Casey in March wasn't good enough.
Though Kimbrough didn't win at the division level, the Clearwater, Florida native took advantage of an additional slot that became available at the U.S. Army Pacific competition held June 2-7 at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii...and he won.
The USARPAC event brings the top competitors from units stationed in Hawaii, Alaska, Japan, Korea and more to compete for the title of best warrior.
"It feels great, but it's important that I don't let it get to my head because there's more to come," said Kimbrough. "I've got to set an example for others to follow."
According to Kimbrough, events included medical lanes, the new army combat fitness test, writing essays, a 12-mile ruck march with an obstacle course, and a helocast which saw the participants jumping out of a helicopter into the ocean and swimming to shore.
"One of my biggest challenges was the knowledge part of this competition," said Kimbrough. "You had to know Army Doctrine Reference Publications and really study and obtain the knowledge so you actually know what you're talking about, not just memorizing."
Kimbrough's motivation for the Best Warrior title ran deeper than laurels and recognition.
"I recently put in a declination of orders statement," said Kimbrough. "I regretted that decision and have been trying to take it off. So, I thought what better way to show the Army that I'm still needed and that I still want to be here than by doing this competition?"
Kimbrough was more than prepared to compete with infantrymen and even U.S. Army Special Operations Command Soldiers.
"Sgt. Kimbrough has an interesting background," said Sgt. Maj. Anthony Gregerson, division fires operations sergeant major and the noncommissioned officer in charge for the 2ID/RUCD Best Warrior competition. "He was an infantryman in the Old Guard and an Expert Infantryman Badge holder prior to re-classing, so he knows discipline, drill and ceremony and he's a professional.
"I believe most NCOs and Soldiers have what it takes to compete at a high level, but not all of them have the competitiveness and winning spirit to try," said Gregerson. "Sgt. Kimbrough and Pvt. 1st Class Britton who went out there to represent us, they had the competitive spirit and that is what got them through."
Kimbrough and the other four USARPAC Best Warrior Competition winners will compete at the Army level this October.