Four Soldiers and three Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) with the Military Intelligence Readiness Command (MIRC) recently competed in the command's annual Best Warrior Competition (BWC), held recently at Fort Dix, N.J.
Spc. Mitchel Dolan, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 378th Military Intelligence Battalion, earned Best Warrior Soldier and Sgt. Matthew Bledsoe, with Detachment 6, 3100th Strategic Intelligence Group, earned Best Warrior NCO.
The week-long competition tested the skills, knowledge of Warrior Tasks, and fitness levels of the competitors with a variety of events, including the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), weapons qualification with an M16A2 rifle, combatives, a 7-mile rucksack march, and daytime and nighttime land navigation. Soldiers were also required to lead a squad through a Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) situation to find an injured Soldier in a house and request a medical evacuation, all while dealing with enemy sniper and indirect fire.
On the final day, competitors appeared before a board to answer multiple questions on topics ranging from communications and leadership to security and counterterrorism procedures. Soldiers were also questioned on several current events topics.
Spc. Dolan was competing in honor of his first sergeant, who had guided and coached him through the Best Warrior process.
"He is retiring in May, so for me to win this would be a good last hurrah for him," he said.
Dolan placed first in the combatives event, sparring with Soldiers from both the MIRC and the 99th Regional Support Command.
To prepare for the first event, an early-morning APFT, Sgt. Bledsoe followed a stringent fitness program.
"I have a gym partner back home and we work out regularly with weights," said Bledsoe.
"We also go for runs and do different core exercises, all to work on specific areas for the APFT," he said.
After letting their blisters and sore muscles heal, the next step for both of these Soldiers is the US Army Reserve Command BWC, to be held at Fort McCoy, Wis., in July.