By Staff Sgt. Wilson A. Rivera, 359th Theater Tactical Signal BrigadeApril 14, 2011
FORT GORDON, Ga. - (April 10, 2011) Citizen-Soldiers within the 335th Signal Command (Theater) vouched to become the best during the Best Warrior Competition held April 8 to 10 at Fort Gordon, Ga.
Fort Gordon was selected to host the competition for the command, which is headquartered within East Point, Ga., because of its proximity, and it's a training post with accessible training areas with a land navigation course, maintained marching surfaces, sand combatives pit, and ranges to test warrior training tasks, said Master Sgt. AndrAfA Boykins, competition noncommissioned officer in charge, assigned to the 335th TSC,G-3, training and operations center.
Competition took place mostly within two days, which included WTT skills dealing from first aid, map reading, force protection, and demonstrating proper use of a M256 Chemical Agent Detector Kit. After a quick noon meal each day, warriors continued the competition with a 10K road march with 35-pound rucksack, a combatives challenge, land navigation, and an appearance in front of a board with 335th TSC Command Sgt. Maj. James Preston, president of the board.
"They're doing a great job," said Preston while walking along with each Warrior during the road march. "I look forward to our winners going to [the United States Army Reserve Command competition] and winning at that level."
Spc. Matthew T. MacDonald, a petroleum supply specialist with the 354 Chemical Company, Louisville, Ky., experienced his first challenging competition since Basic Combat Training.
"I think it's great to be in a competition as this, so as I move on to be an NCO, I'll have the experience to teach Soldiers underneath me and tell them, 'this is the standard,'" said MacDonald.
Winners of the Best Warrior Competition for the 335th TSC are Sgt. Christopher R. Couchot, an information systems operator-analyst with the 505th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade, Phoenix, Ariz., and Spc. Wade J. Saunders, a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialist with the 415th Chemical Brigade, Greenville, S.C.
"This was my first time competing at a high level and it's obviously a good experience," said Couchot. I didn't know how much harder it could get, but it increasingly became more difficult on the second day."
The Soldier and NCO winners for the competition will move on to compete at the USARC 2011 Best Warrior Competition scheduled to be held in June at Fort McCoy, Wi., where the winners will continue to compete at the Department of the Army level.