By Capt. Sean Delpech
FORT A.P. HILL, Va. – Army Reserve Soldiers from around the 310th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and the 3rd Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) entered the ultimate test during the 310th ESC 2016 Best Warrior Competition, held from Feb. 26 through 2 March, 2016 here.
This year’s Best Warrior Competition encountered freezing weather conditions, adding to the challenge for the Army Reserve Soldiers competing in the event. The Soldiers and non-commissioned officers competed in events starting with the Army Physical Fitness Test, Army Warrior Task testing, a written essay and a written exam on day one of the Best Warrior.
Day two of the competition began with the 9mm weapons range and the M16 weapons range, followed with combined day and night land navigation.
Day three continued with the combatives competition, a react to ambush simulator test, and an 8-mile ruck march that began with a ride in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.
The event culminated on day four with participating Soldiers appearing before the command sergeant major board as the final event.
But the 2016 event is also remarkable because of the extensive cooperation and partnership between the 310th ESC and the 3rd TBX in planning and conducting the competition. The two units combined efforts this year to hold the joint best warrior competition.
“We knew that the planning needed some work, so the 310th ESC and 3rd TBX came together to co-host the Best Warrior Competition,” Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph L. Legra, senior enlisted adviser for the 3rd TBX said.
“We were able to do this together and get more training for both units’ Soldiers with less budget by combining efforts,” continued Legra.
The 310th ESC and the 3rd TBX sent their top Soldiers and non-commissioned officer’s to compete at the competition, but only two will go on to represent the units in the 377th Theater Sustainment Command Best Warrior Competition in May, 2016, where they will compete with other Soldiers from every major subordinate command.
“The Best Warrior Competition is the gateway for these Soldiers to move forward and compete in the next higher level event,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Levi G. Maynard. “If they succeed at this level, they have shown that the rigorous training they went through has prepared them to be the best, not just at the Best Warrior Competition, but as NCO’s and future leaders,” continued Maynard.
Preparation for the 310th ESC 2016 Best Warrior Competition began months before the actual event. The Soldiers competing for the best warrior cannot use time during their full time occupations to train, for the most part. Most of the Soldiers sacrificed countless hours of personal time to physical fitness, Warrior Task proficiency training, and weapons training.
“Preparing for the competition takes a lot of dedication,” said Sgt. Monique D. Smalls from HHC, 359th Transportation Battalion, 3rd TBX, “It’s not easy; you have to combine your daily life and preparing for the competition.”
“There’s a lot of balance necessary to train up for BWC,” said Smalls. “It challenges you with a lot of stress; a lot of us have school, work full time and want to do well with our military obligation too, so it’s good stress because it makes you push yourself to your full potential.
The Soldiers who compete in this year’s best warrior competition also bring the knowledge and experience they gain in preparation and competition back with them.
“The trainers and cadre bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the competitors, because while they are running the ranges and land navigation courses; they sharpen their skills and bring that back to the unit,” said Legra.
“The Soldiers participating in the competition benefit from the condensed 6 day event and have the knowledge and opportunity to mentor the Soldiers at their unit,” continued Legra.