Lt. Gen. Thomas James, commanding general for First Army, left, Sgt. 1st Class Francisco Torres, First Army's Best Warrior, center, and Command Sgt. Maj. John McDwyer, senior enlisted advisor for First Army, right, pose for a photo  at the Sparta American Legion in Sparta, Wis. Torres was awarded the Army Meritorious Service Medal for winning the First Army Best Warrior Competition.
Lt. Gen. Thomas James, commanding general for First Army, left, Sgt. 1st Class Francisco Torres, First Army's Best Warrior, center, and Command Sgt. Maj. John McDwyer, senior enlisted advisor for First Army, right, pose for a photo at the Sparta American Legion in Sparta, Wis. Torres was awarded the Army Meritorious Service Medal for winning the First Army Best Warrior Competition. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Ryan Tatum.) VIEW ORIGINAL

Six Soldiers competed in First Army’s Best Warrior Competition, at Fort McCoy, Wis. After countless trials, Sgt. 1st Class Francisco Torres, from 120th Infantry Brigade, emerged victorious and claimed the title of First Army Best Warrior.

Each event tested the competitors’ knowledge of basic Army skills, their physical endurance and their mental fortitude.

“For a moment, I got in my head during the land navigation event and I almost gave into doubt but I never stopped moving,” said Torres. “We covered quite a bit of terrain. Once you got your new point, it was seven kilometers away. Honestly, it sucks but you have to keep moving. Never give up.”

Another competitor also faced adversity head on in the competition. Perseverance was essential.

“The first event of the first day was the Army Combat Fitness Test and I did not perform as well as I thought I would have, which really got me down,” said Staff Sgt. Jacob Siggers, a competitor for 177th Armored Brigade. “Talking with the competitors, they picked me up and reminded me to keep my head up, forget it and keep moving. I went on to place second in the call for fire and water survival events later that day.”

Though all of the competitors were trying to win, it didn’t stop them from supporting each other and sharing their specific expertise throughout the competition.

“I thought the events were challenging, some more than others, but it was encompassing all warrior tasks and drills and I knew my biggest weakness was with medical tasks,” Siggers said. “Sgt. 1st Class Francisco Torres helped guide us though it just like we guided him though Infantry tasks.”

At the start of the final day, Siggers was only four points behind Torres. Utimately Torres won by a single point.

“I was lucky, honestly, any one of the noncommissioned officers could have been representing First Army, but seeing the competitors do their best drove me to do my best,” Torres said. “That is what I am trying to do every single time.”

Torres, who will represent First Army at the U.S. Army Forces Command Best Warrior Competition later this year, will continue to train in preparation as his support team follows along each step of the way.

“I would like to thank my supervisor for making sure I had ample time to study and for providing me with training aids and my sponsor for making sure I got training done in time and just being there for me,” Torres said. “I want to thank my family for supporting everything I do because everything I do is to make ourselves better as a family.”