By John BrooksDecember 17, 2019
Two noncommissioned officers and three Soldiers from General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital competed in the 2019 GLWACH Best Warrior Competition held Dec 2 through 5 on Fort Leonard Wood.
SGT Se Ahn, Non-commissioned Officer in Charge of the GLWACH optical lab, and CPL Dylan Harrington, GLWACH optical lab specialist, scored highest in the NCO and Soldier categories, respectively, and are slated to represent GLWACH at the regional level.
"I've been to many competitions but this one really kicked my butt," Ahn said. "It was like non-stop physical activity. It is probably the hardest competition I've ever been to."
The competition presents a series of physical and mental challenges to test Soldiers' stamina and mental prowess with nearly round-the-clock action that includes a two-day field training exercise.
"It's more mental than physical," said Harrington. "To be able to go through all of this physically demanding stuff and keep up a good pace shows you could keep up a good pace on the battlefield. I think (the events) were good choices and were as hard as they can get."
Events included a physical fitness test, a road march, both day and night land navigation, and various other mystery events such as navigating an obstacle course, reacting to contact, and testing in unannounced basic warrior skills tasks.
"It (was) a very high op-tempo week," said Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Kamo, GLWACH operations NCO.
Kamo said GLWACH mirrored this competition after the last year's region-level competition.
"We wanted to make this year's GLWACH competition more physical so we could send the best Soldiers to region. In the next couple of months, we're going to spend some time preparing them to go to the next level competition and be successful."
Ahn and Harrington will compete in the Regional Health Command-Central Best Warrior Competition in spring 2020.
"We took two Soldiers to region last year," Kamo said. "All of the Army Military Treatment facilities and a few Dental Activity Command Soldiers in RHC-C will compete in the region-level event."
The regional competition date and location has not been announced but will be held some time before the end of April 2020, Kamo said.
"If they win at region, then they go to MEDCOM," Kamo said. "We do know where the MEDCOM event is going to be because we are hosting the MEDCOM event. It's going to be here on Fort Leonard Wood the first week of May," Kamo said. "The MEDCOM Commanding General, Lt. Gen. (Scott) Dingle, will be here, and Command Sgt. Maj. (Michael) Gragg will be here, so it's going to be a very, very big event. It's going to be awesome.
GLWACH's 2020 MEDCOM Best Warrior Competition planners are already hard at it, devising new and exciting methods of testing, hoping to break new ground, Kamo said.
"I'm excited--a little stressed because we're close to it and there's a lot of stuff we're still trying to just get locked in and get warm and fuzzy on," Kamo said. "It's going to be a good time. The Soldiers will have fun."
But the fun doesn't stop at the MEDCOM level.
"If they win at MEDCOM, they go to Futures (Command), and then from Futures (Command) they compete at the Army-level event," Kamo said.