FORT MCCOY, Wis. -- The Army Reserve’s Best Warrior Competition is in full force on Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. All 43 Army Reserve Soldiers who began the event June 20, 2011 are still with it, meeting new challenges every day, and are focused on the awards banquet June 24 when two winners will be announced.

Starting at 3 a.m. Tuesday, the competitors set out on the night/day land navigation competition. Competing under heavy rain and high winds, the Soldiers reported some of the toughest land navigation conditions they'd ever seen. Darkness, an intense storm bringing hail and rain, including lightening flashes, tested the Soldiers’ stamina, physical endurance and land navigation skills.

Staff Sgt. Max Rees, from Leavenworth, Kan., relished the land navigation conditions saying, “It's kind of a fun thing for me being miserable like this. Rainy and wet, up early; you don't get to do this every day.”

Cadre members supporting the events remained positive throughout the night as well. Staff Sgt. Harold Moreland, a platoon sergeant for the land navigation event said, “It feels good to be out with Soldiers doing Soldier things.”

The Soldiers will spend the week on a variety of challenges. They will take the Army Physical Fitness Test, fire M-4 rifles on a night qualification range illuminated by pyrotechnics, and prove their mettle in other tests of skill such as Army combatives, first aid, and weapons assembly.

Their military backgrounds and experience represent the entire spectrum of the Army Reserve. Many have deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. Their career fields include military police, healthcare, mechanics, human resources, intelligence, chaplain assistant and engineering. They represent a wide cross-section of America, hailing from various states across the United States.

The winners will be announced at an awards dinner at 5 p.m. Central time, June 24, at the American Legion Post in Sparta, Wis. The top NCO and Soldier will go on to represent Army Reserve at the Department of the Army “Best Warrior” Competition, to be held in October at Fort Lee, Va.