News: Striving for the Best Warrior
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Lyndon Miller
FORT DEVENS, Mass - The 412th Theater Engineer Command’s Best Warrior Competition kicked off here April 21, 2013, where approximately 30 Army Reserve soldiers compete for the title “Best Warrior.”
The contest is designed to identify the best competitors among the 13,000 soldiers within the command. The winners will advance to the next level in the United States Army Reserve Command’s Best Warrior Competition in June.
“The ultimate goal is to produce the best Soldiers we can for the 412th,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Cedric Green, senior noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the 302nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and Best Warrior Competition NCOIC, during the opening brief.
Green said he wants the competitors to challenge themselves, but “also have a good time.”
After the briefing, chairs were removed and replaced with mats where combatives familiarization began.
Pfc. Jerome Goforth, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 302nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, seemed to capture the spirit of the Best Warrior Competition.
“I want to get a lot of knowledge here and to be able to train other Soldiers,” he said, reflecting one thing Green had mentioned in the brief.
Spc. David Pena, Alpha Company, 533rd Brigade Support Battalion gave a personal example of how past Best Warrior participants can influence others to compete.
“My squad leader did this last year and he motivated me,” Pena said. “I want to represent my unit.”
That afternoon, competitors participated in Mystery Event 1. The soldiers were not able to anticipate or prepare for what was in store.
The event was an obstacle/confidence-style of course which was timed and measured approximately 500 meters.
For the first 100 meters, the competitors were required to flip a 450 pound tire twice, then run to the next segment and drag a second tire for 10 meters.
From there, the soldiers rushed to a Humvee, grabbed two full water cans and traveled as fast as they could for 200 meters to another Humvee.
The participants threw the water cans in the rear of the vehicle, grabbed three ammo cans and ran for another 200 meters. One ammo can contained three grenades, another one was filled with rocks and the third ammo can was empty.
After maneuvering for an additional 200 yards with the ammo cans, the competitors placed the cans in another Humvee, took out the grenades and ran to a designated point. They proceeded to high-crawl to the grenade-throwing station, threw the grenades at their target and then sprinted to the finish line.
This was “extremely tough,” said Spc. Robert Waggoner, 299th Engineer Company, 463rd Engineer Battalion, 411th Engineer Brigade, it “shows what you got.”
Spc. Matt Harcarik, 411th Chemical Company, 479th Chemical Battalion, 302nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, called his experience with Mystery Event 1 “a good time. It’s what I signed up to do.”
Sgt. Thaddeus Krumpinski, Harcarik’s sponsor from the same unit said laughing, “Ever since the third grade, he knew he would be the best warrior.” Harcarik laughed too.
In regards to the competition in general, Harcarik said it imbibes the warrior spirit. “It’s what I believe in,” he said.