The search for the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives Command (CBRNE) 2022 Best Warrior continues in Colorado.
Seven Soldiers assigned to the Fort Carson, Colorado-based 71st Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) and its subordinate units, competed in an annual five-day Best Warrior Competition, March 28 through April 1.
The Best Warrior Competition is an event used to select the U.S. Army’s Noncommissioned Officer of the Year and Soldier of the Year.
The winners of the 71st Ordnance Group (EOD) competition will move up echelons to compete in the 20th CBRNE Command’s Best Warrior Competition, which will earn a trip to the U.S. Army Forces Command’s Best Warrior Competition and ultimately a chance to compete against the very best Soldiers the Department of Army has to offer.
Warriors competing for the title “Soldier of the Year” include the ranks of private through specialist. Warriors competing for the title “Noncommissioned Officer of the Year” include ranks corporal through sergeant first class.
Three noncommissioned officers and four junior enlisted Soldiers traversed the 71st Ordnance Group (EOD) five-day competition, which tested the Soldiers on everything from physical fitness, technical and tactical skills, problem solving and overall combat readiness.
Command Sgt. Maj. David Silva, the senior enlisted leader for the 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), is very proud of each Soldier who competed.
“Each competitor gave us their all,” Silva said. “It was a nail-biter. These Soldiers fought to the wire.”
It was only 0.8 points that separated two of the competitors out of a possible 700 points.
Sgt. Brandon J. Litke, explosive ordnance disposal technician with 62nd Ordnance Company, 242nd Ordnance Battalion (EOD), was declared the winner among non-commissioned officers.
Litke was also promoted to staff sergeant the same day.
For the junior enlisted Soldiers. Spc. Andrew J. Webb, explosive ordnance disposal technician with the 630th Ordnance Company (EOD), 79th Ordnance Battalion (EOD), based in Fort Riley, Kansas, was declared the winner.
“I actually didn’t think was going to perform as well as I did,” said Webb. “I just did my best, but I’ll admit, it feels pretty good.”
Sgt. Mark A. Ramirez, human resource specialist for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), and Pvt. 1st Class Stephanie L. Ryan, human resource specialist with the 749th Ordnance Company (EOD), 242nd Ordnance Battalion (EOD), will serve as alternates for the 20th CBRNE Command’s Best Warrior Competition this summer in event either winner is unable to compete.