Best Phantom Warriors
Sgt. Hunter Wilson and Spc. Matthew Yates, both from the 4th "Longknife" Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, pose for a photo flanked by Command Sgt. Maj. Wendell Franklin, 3rd Cav. Regt., and Command Sgt. Maj. Cliff Burgoyne, III Corps and Fort Hood command sergeant major, after being named the 2021 III Corps Best Warriors at Fort Hood, Texas, June 25. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Daniel Herman, 982nd Sig. Co. (Airborne)) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT HOOD, Texas - The best Soldiers and noncommissioned officers from across III Corps contended for the coveted title of III Corps Best Warrior here June 22-25, with two Soldiers from 3rd Cavalry Regiment rising to the top.

The event consisted of 22 warriors who were evaluated on oral and written examinations, physical assessments, and warrior tasks and drills that are relevant to the Army’s current operations.

During the competition, the warriors must embody the Army values while showcasing they can handle adversity and respond with resiliency.

“It’s been inspirational to watch these warriors face adversity and take it on with resiliency,” Staff Sgt. Christopher Trevino, the alternate NCO in charge of the competition, said. “In between sessions, you see that the camaraderie helps aid the resiliency for Soldiers to keep competing and pushing themselves regardless of what we put them through.”

Spc. Matthew Yates, a cavalry scout with 4th Squadron, 3rd Cav. Regt., found his resilience through the Longknife Squadron.

Ruck March
Soldiers conduct a six-mile ruck march during the III Corps Best Warrior Competition at Fort Hood, Texas, June 22. (Photo Credit: Spc. Raekwon Jenkins, 7th MPAD) VIEW ORIGINAL

“When I had to dig down deep, I remembered that everybody back in my unit was counting on me,” Yates said. “Wearing this 3rd CR patch really pushed me when I needed to motivate myself. I knew that at the end of the day, if I still had something left in the tank, I didn’t give my unit my all.”

When asked what he would like to bring back to his unit from his experiences, Yates simply said, “the trophy.”

In the end, Yates and his own NCO from Longknife, Sgt. Hunter Wilson, were selected as the winners of the III Corps Best Warrior Competition.

The winning pair of Brave Rifles will go on to compete next at U.S. Army Forces Command level of the competition.

Yates said he believes he won because he was mentally prepared, paid attention in sergeant time training and listened to his NCOs.