By Sgt. Erica VinyardJune 11, 2010
Army skills were put to the test by six high-speed Soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) by advanced physical fitness tests, written exams, urban warfare simulations, board interviews, and Warrior tasks and drills pertinent to the operating environments of today.
The Old Guard conducted the Best Warrior Competition at Fort A.P. Hill, Va. from June 7-11 to identify the best qualified non-commissioned officer and Soldier to represent the regiment in the Military District of Washington level competition.
"All of the NCOs and Soldiers really gave their all because it was new and exciting to them," said Sgt. First Class William Cramer, competition coordinator for this and last year's competition. "It was a close call to the very last event so it accurately identified the winners of this competition."
Day one began with a modified Army Physical Fitness Test including pull-ups, pushups, sit-ups and a five mile terrain run. Two hours later, the candidates conducted a land navigation course. Given a 10 digit grid coordinate, candidates had one hour to find the location using a Defense Advanced Global Positioning System Receiver.
"The hardest part was the modified physical training test which included pull-ups and running with an interceptor body armor, but this competition is a great opportunity; it breaks monotony," said Pfc. John Hansen of Company B.
On day two, candidates negotiated an obstacle course for time then moved right on to an assault course.
"We're using Ultimate Training Munitions Man Marker Rounds for this assault course but we don't know what surprises await us in there," said Pfc. Clayton Skidmore of E Co. before entering the shoot house.
Upon entrance of the building, the candidates subdued an assailant using combatives, triaged four casualties then request air medical evacuation via frequency modulation using 9-line format and encountered an improvised explosive device.
With no breaks in between, day three began with night land navigation, day land navigation and a 10-mile road march ending with a stress shoot at the range. The NCO and Soldier boards were held on the last day.
"Whether I won or not, this prepares me for things other Soldiers may not get the chance to do, said Pfc. Drew Hilliard, Company B. "This is why I joined the Army, to do exactly this."
Sgt. Enes Memic of Company E, NCO of the Year, and Pfc. Drew Hilliard of Company B, Soldier of the Year, are scheduled to compete in the MDW Best Warrior Competition on July 12-16 at Fort Belvoir, Va.