FORT CAMPBELL, Kentucky – A U.S. Army Airborne Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician from the 722nd Ordnance Company (EOD) won the 52nd EOD Group Best Warrior Competition.
Sgt. Micah K. Miller took first place in the competition against five noncommissioned officers from the U.S. Army EOD group that has two battalions and 14 companies that deploy around the world and support civil authorities in all states east of the Mississippi River.
Spc. Tristan Martucci Bond was the first place junior enlisted Soldier in the 52nd EOD Group Best Warrior Competition.
The Best Warrior Competition had numerous training lanes, including reacting to enemy contact, medical lanes and all hazards lanes, along with physical events like a ruck march and Army Combat Fitness Test.
A native of Boise, Idaho, Miller said focusing on physical fitness and being ready for anything helped him during the competition.
“The biggest challenge was having a wide variety of tasks to train on while going into an ambiguous competition,” said Miller. “Not knowing exactly what lanes or tasks you are going to do makes preparation difficult.
“The most important part to me was the physical aspect,” said Miller. “Consistent working out and improving my aerobic conditioning was a major component to my success.”
Miller became an EOD technician because he wanted to defeat explosives and take on a great amount of responsibility early in his career.
During his three years in the Army, he has been on 30 domestic response missions.
Miller said the key to his success has been “having leaders who push me and enable me to work as hard as I want in my personal time while not limiting me in my desire to be competitive.”
The EOD sergeant was also on the EOD team that won the Team of the Year competition for the 192nd EOD Battalion.
The Fort Bragg, North Carolina-based 722nd EOD Company is part of the 192nd EOD Battalion, 52nd EOD Group and 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. military’s premier deployable all hazards formation.
The 20th CBRNE Command is home to 75 percent of the Active Duty U.S. Army’s EOD technicians and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) specialists, as well as the 1st Area Medical Laboratory, CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity, five Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordination Teams and three Nuclear Disablement Teams.
Known as Defenders, Soldiers and civilians from the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-headquartered 20th CBRNE Command deploy from 19 bases and 16 states to take on the world’s most dangerous hazards in support of joint, interagency and allied operations.
The 722nd EOD Company was recently activated for the Afghanistan evacuation and the company was marshalled to perform an airborne assault. One of three Airborne Immediate Response Force EOD companies stationed on Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the 722nd EOD Company supports the 82nd Airborne Division.
Miller was also named the 20th CBRNE Command Defender of the Week.
The 722nd EOD Company’s senior noncommissioned officer said Miller did well in the competition because he is driven to succeed.
“All Soldiers in the Airborne Immediate Response Force units strive to be the best Soldier due to the nature of who we support, which is the 82nd Airborne Division,” said 1st Sgt. Rob Crull. “They learn early on at Fort Bragg that being an EOD technician is important but during an airborne operation, they need to be able to effectively shoot, move, communicate and medicate better than other enablers in the operation.”
A 19-year U.S. Army veteran who has deployed 13 times between Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, Crull said the Best Warrior Competition helped to prepare his EOD technicians for large scale combat operations against near-peer adversaries.
“It’s important as we get into a large scale combat operations type fight when winning is dependent on your ability to master the fundamentals,” said Crull. “Once they are mastered, these competitions no longer become competitions but instead become refreshers to an already mastered skillset.”