Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. – The 224th Military Intelligence Battalion hosted the 116th Military Intelligence Brigade Best Warrior competition at Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, April 4-8.
The brigade-level competition consisted of 19 events ranging from the Army Combat Fitness Test and obstacle course to land navigation and essay writing. The goal of the competition was to test every core competency of a Soldier, from knowledge to physical ability.
“It’s a great competition,” said Lt. Col. Charles Rouzer, 224th MI commander. “We see Soldiers all the time that are physically fit and they can come out here and excel on the ACFT, excel in the obstacle course and still come in last. This competition is not just about being physically fit… A well-rounded Soldier is what we’re looking for.”
The first event was the ACFT, where competitors scored between 490 to 567, with the maximum possible score being 600. A timed and scored layout of equipment and a written essay on the Army’s suicide prevention program also took place that day.
The next day, competitors were flown into Fort Stewart’s training area where they quickly ate and then moved to the obstacle course for a competition of strength, endurance, mobility and confidence. After this, competitors visited the grenade range before heading into their Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills. The WTBD events ranged from weapons assembly to map reading.
On day three, competitors conducted both night and daytime land navigation. Between navigation events, Soldiers were tested on their knowledge of sexual harassment/assault response and prevention, equal opportunity and troop leading procedures.
The day started with a ruck march, and competitors were then scored on the M4 and M17 qualification ranges as their final events.
On the final day, two Soldiers were awarded 116th MI Brigade Best Warrior. For the non-commissioned officer category, Sgt. Brandon Long with 15th Military Intelligence Battalion was the winner. For the junior enlisted category, Pfc. Bryan McCollum with 206th Military Intelligence Battalion was the winner. Sgt. Mark Hawkins and Pfc. Tyrus Jackson with 224th MI Bn. were the runners-up.
“I guess I just wanted to do something that was bigger than just my regular, everyday job. Something that I could feel good about at the end of the day,” said Jackson, a satellite communications system operator and maintainer with 224th MI Bn.
Sgt. Cameron Thompson, unmanned aircraft systems operator with 224th MI Bn., was one of the main organizers of the competition. With putting this event together, he stated his main objective was to simply provide the Soldiers with some good training.
“We don’t get to do this very often with our MOSs,” Thompson said. “Hopefully quality training gets taken out of this and they can take what they learned back and train their own units.”
Winners will go on to compete at the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command level.