JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – Four Surface Warrior Soldiers recently converged at the headquarters of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s 597th Transportation Brigade to see who would earn the right to be called SDDC’s 2022 Best Warriors.
The Best Warrior Competition is a Sergeant Major of the Army spearheaded event that is designed to recognize those Soldiers and Noncommissioned Officers who have exemplified themselves as the “Best of the Best.” It is supported at all levels of leadership and is proven to be one of the best ways to meet the objective of creating, maintaining, and recognizing those Soldiers who exemplify the Warrior Ethos.
Participating in multiple events during the week of May 9-13, the competitors dug down deep to push themselves mentally, physically and emotionally to prove that they were the right choice to represent SDDC at the U.S. Army Materiel Command’s Best Warrior Competition scheduled for later this year.
“It’s a great opportunity to have this competition,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Brian J. Morrison, the SDDC senior enlisted leader, during the award ceremony. “It’s incredibly important we do this on a routine basis to ensure we find those Soldiers and Noncommissioned Officers that can represent our organization.”
The competitors in the Best Noncommissioned Officer category included Sgt. 1st Class Alan Alcaraz, 596th Transportation Brigade, and Sgt. Jeremiah Smith, 597th Transportation Brigade, while Spc. Tommy McInnis, IV, and Spc. Victor Vazquez, both from the 597th Transportation Brigade, competed in the Best Soldier category.
After meeting height and weight standards, they spent the next four days completing an array of tasks that included an Army Combat Fitness Test, marksmanship testing both on the live fire range and at the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000, land navigation operations, Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills, a written test, an obstacle course, a mystery event (disassembling and assembling a weapon as fast and safely as possible), a 12-mile ruck march with a 35-pound ruck sack, and a board where they were tested on their Army and SDDC knowledge by SDDC senior leaders.
When the competition was done and the points tallied, the winners were announced at a ceremony held at the U.S. Transportation Museum May 13.
The winners were as follows:
- Best Noncommissioned Officer - Sgt. Jeremiah Smith, 597th Transportation Brigade
- Best Soldier - Spc. Victor Vazquez, 597th Transportation Brigade
If they are successful enough to win at the AMC level, these Best Warriors will be sent forward to compete in the Department of the Army’s Competition.