FORT LEE, Va. – Sixteen Sustainment Center of Excellence Soldiers gathered at Williams Stadium early this morning for the Army Combat Fitness Test – the first graded event of the 2021 Combined Arms Support Command Best Warrior/Drill Sergeant of the Year Competition.
The four-day contest concluding Thursday will feature a series of field, classroom and boardroom events that will challenge competing Soldiers physically and mentally.
“The ACFT just shows the physical side of being the best warrior,” acknowledged Sgt. Maj. Latoya Hammond, CASCOM G-3/5/7 SGM. “They’re going to be tested on other things, such as writing ability and drill and ceremony performance.”
Hammond added that the ACFT is something Soldiers are familiar with, and the remaining events will be “less-known to them” – meaning they’re usually an annual or career-sporadic requirement. Falling in that category are the weapons range events, a land navigation course and an evaluation board appearance. A 12-mile ruck run will proceed the announcement of winners Thursday morning.
Soldiers reported for the competition Sunday.
“How we received them yesterday is what really set the tone for the entire week,” Hammond said. “Everyone was really pumped up and motivated to start.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge C. Escobedo, CASCOM CSM, was the welcome briefing’s “featured motivator.”
Soldiers competing in the ACFT could be heard cheering each other on throughout the various testing events, despite competing against one another. Noticing this, Hammond said, “At CASCOM, Support Starts Here, and as noncommissioned officers, they always have to support each other in everything they do, and this is no different.”
The overall BWC/DSOY winners will go on to compete at the Training and Doctrine Command Best Warrior Competition July 20-24, at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. From there, the top Soldiers take on the Center for Initial Military Training BWC event July 25-30, where the Army Drill Sergeant of the Year and Best Warrior will be named.