HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command held its Best Warrior Competition, July 28-31, 2020, at Fort Shafter Flats, Schofield Barracks and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
The Best Warrior Competition is a chance for Soldiers to compete at the unit level by performing a multitude of tasks and drills in a tactical environment in hopes of winning and representing their unit at the next level. The winners of the 94th AAMDC BWC compete at the U.S. Army Pacific BWC and possibly compete at the Army BWC at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia.
“I believe the Best Warrior Competition is a great way to help put the skill and techniques you have learned throughout your military career,” said Pfc. Anthony Collins, a Human Resources Specialist assigned to the 94th AAMDC. “It truly provides competitors with the opportunity to see what they are truly made of by pushing themselves passed their limits.”
Due to Covid-19, certain events had to be canceled and due to the possible threat of hurricane Douglas other events had to be moved to another day during the BWC. Range qualifications on the M4, M17 and M320 were held on July 17, 2020, 11 days before the official start of the BWC.
Day one of the BWC began with reception, in processing and an equipment layout. The next event was the rigorous Army Combat Fitness Test.
Although the ACFT is challenging, some of the competitors found it to be an exciting event.
“My favorite event so far is probably the ACFT,” stated Pfc. Vernon Flowers, an Air Defense Enhanced Early Warning System Operator assigned to the 14th Missile Defense Battery, 94th AAMDC. “A lot of different elements of working out, something that I feel like I’m good at.”
The ACFT was followed by a medical lane, communications lane, drill and ceremony, a land navigation test and day one concluded with a written essay.
Day two of the competition was prepared and ready to be one of the most strenuous days during this competition. Not only would it be a physically demanding day, but it would be just as mentally challenging.
Beginning at 4:00 a.m., under the moon-lit and starry sky of Oahu. The only thing that lie between the Soldiers and the finish line would be the grueling 12-mile ruck march.
Just as anticipated, the 12-mile ruck march was one of the most challenging events.
“The hardest out of all of them was probably the ruck,” remarked Pvt. Elijah Clarke, a Transmission Systems Operator Maintainer assigned to the 94th AAMDC. “Maintaining that discipline to keep pushing on was probably the hardest part.”
Following the completion of the 12-mile ruck march, the competitors tested their knowledge and ability to handle the pressure of completing the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear lanes by donning their CBRN gear and identifying chemical agents.
Upon the completion of the CBRN lane, the already physically tired competitors put their mind to work to overcome and maneuver through the Leader Reaction Course. Their final events for day two were to complete a media interview with regards to operational security and finally to prepare for the knowledge board on the final day of competition.
With only one day remaining in the competition, the Soldiers were able to chime in about how they feel about the competition thus far.
“It’s very challenging, stated Spc. Matthew Williams, an Air Defense Enhanced Early Warning System Operator assigned to the 14th Missile Defense Battery, 94th AAMDC. “It’s great to have Soldiers out here just giving it their all; I would love to do it again.”
On the final day of the competition, the Soldiers completed a knowledge board in front of five senior Non-Commissioned Officers. While this final event would not solely decide who would earn the title of the 94th AAMDC Soldier of the Year, it could possibly tip the scales one of five ways to determine the winner.
On July 31, 2020, during an award ceremony for the BWC, it was revealed that Pfc. Vernon Flowers, a native of Dallas, Texas earned the title of the 94th AAMDC Soldier of the Year.
“This Soldier of the Year win is important because myself and my sergeant worked every day including off days to win,” he stated.