By Sgt. Nathaniel SmithJuly 29, 2009
FORT RILEY, Kan. - Every warrior fights for victory, but the 1st Infantry Division set out to find its 'Victory Warrior' through competition July 29. The competition is part of the Big Red One's week-long 'Victory Week', a celebration of camaraderie, history, and honoring its heroes, past and present. Sgt. 1st Class Richard Dukes, the competition's noncommissioned-officer-in-charge from the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, said the challenge was based upon two other Army competitions, Best Ranger and Expert Infantry Badge. "It consists of a 12-mile road march, 11 skill level one tasks, done within a three hour and thirty-minute timeframe," Dukes said. "The time will not stop during any of those events, so it keeps those Soldiers motivated to move fast through the 12-mile road march." At the end of the road march, a stress shoot ended the challenge, involving short-range and long-range marksmanship, for each two-Soldier team. At the end of the competition, points were tallied from each event, and a winner determined. Second Lt. Daniel Abaldo, an operations officer with the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment who participated in the event, said he felt preparation for the competition helped him and his teammate, Capt. Benjamin Ryder, the 2-34 Armor intelligence officer, do well in the event. "We tried to be advanced and kind of war-game based upon time and capabilities," Abaldo said. "I think we did it pretty well; it really worked in our favor." Abaldo and Ryder were the first to cross the finish line, but due to the points system for each event, it did not guarantee victory. Despite that, Abaldo said he felt good about his and his teammate's chances. "I certainly hope (we win), but I saw a lot of guys and girls pushing hard; good luck to all of them. "It was a good push, and I couldn't have done it without Capt. Ryder." Winners of the event are scheduled to be announced at the Victory Cup presentation on July 30.