News: Army Reserve Best Warriors unravel mystery event
Story by Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. - “It was like our version of an Easter egg hunt!”
What Sgt. 1st Class Maylene Ysasaga is referring to is the mystery event – a kind of land-navigation scavenger hunt – held during the Best Warrior Competition being hosted by the Army Reserve’s 99th Regional Support Command and 76th Operational Response Command this week at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
In addition to the mystery event, which had competitors use their navigation skills to locate hidden objects scattered across base, the Best Warrior Competition tests these citizen-Soldiers’ warrior skills with events such as the Army Physical Fitness Test, M16 qualification and “move and shoot” ranges, hand-to-hand combatives, urban combat event, day and night land navigation, and a road march.
“It has been challenging, but at the end of the day, none of us have quit. We’re pushing through, we’ve persevered and it’s been an awesome experience so far,” said Ysasaga, an automated logistical specialist with FORSCOM Augmentation Unit headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C.
The Best Warrior Competition has tested the physical, mental and emotional stamina of its four competitors over the past several days, pushing the best-of-the-best to their limits.
“The bottom line is they have the ability to come here and demonstrate the basic Soldier skills that they have learned over the years and apply them toward becoming the Best Warrior,” explained Command Sgt. Maj. JamesPeter Matthews, command sergeant major for the 76th ORC. “They are the cream of our crop.”
Ysasaga has not only brought her Soldier skills to the competition, but also her experiences as a stay-at-home mother of two in civilian life.
“As a noncommissioned officer and as a mother, you’re always trying to take care of your Soldiers and your children,” she explained. “You want to put them first, you want to make sure you’re doing the right thing, leading the right way and leading by example, because you want to nurture them so they can do things on their own.”
For Matthews, the Best Warrior Competition offers an indispensable venue in which Army Reserve Soldiers can learn and excel.
“A lot of times, our Soldiers don’t have these opportunities to showcase what they’ve learned,” Matthews said. “This is a great opportunity for them to be rewarded for the efforts that they’ve put into their careers."
“In the future, if the Best Warrior Competition is impacted because of budgets and resources, it would be unfortunate that we would lose this opportunity,” he added.