News: Soldiers compete to hold the title of Best Warrior
Story by Staff Sgt. Sharilyn Wells
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Sweat, blood, and tears did not stop Soldiers to compete in the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) Best Warrior competition held, June 14 -18.
On one of the hottest weeks at Fort Bragg, N.C. this year thus far, these Soldiers proved to be the best of the command enduring nearly 100 degree weather with smoldering humidity to complete a physical fitness test, weapons qualification, an obstacle course, a 10 kilometer ruck march, combatives, night and land navigation, testing of basic warrior tasks and a grueling question and answer session with the command’s many sergeants major.
“[These Soldiers] entered this competition as individuals, but through a commonality [they] came together as a team,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Dale R. Blosser, the senior enlisted non-commissioned officer assigned to the USACAPOC(A), headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C. “That is what being a leader — a warrior, is all about.”
Even though each had their own strategy, only two will go on to represent USACAPOC(A) at the U.S. Army Reserve-wide Best Warrior Competition in July. Sgt. Adam Kourelis, assigned to the 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion located in Greensboro, N.C., won the title of Best Warrior in the noncommissioned officer category and Spc. Joel Hughes, assigned to the 350th Civil Affairs Command, Pensacola, Fl., claimed the title of Best Warrior for the Soldier category.
“I felt that the Best Warrior Competition was probably one of the more challenging things I’ve done in the Army and it really built me as a NCO, as well as a Soldier,” said Kourelis. “The other competitors I competed against were really top notch [Soldiers]; I was surprised I won.”
The 14 best Soldiers of each subordinate command of USACAPOC(A), competed to have the honor of representing their higher command and through the heat and their physical exhaustion, Kourelis and Hughes shined through.
“I feel that at this level of competition, all these other individuals that I meet and got to know over the last week, any one of them could have gone to the next level to compete and compete well,” said Hughes. “I’ m honored to be the one that stands out and goes forward.”
USACAPOC(A) is five percent of the U.S. Army Reserve Command’s force and is responsible for 20 percent of the Army Reserve deployments. The command is comprised of nearly 12,000 Soldiers in 67 units across 31 states. USACAPOC(A) is home to 94 percent of the Department of Defense’s CA capability and 71 percent of the DoD’s PSYOP capability.
“You Soldiers competing for this, I salute you and would follow you into battle anywhere, because you’re not just fighting for our country, you’re fighting to win,” said Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Stube, assigned to the Special Operations Command and guest speaker at the Best Warrior Competition awards banquet, June 18. “No one in the Army trains so hard to show so much love and compassion like CA and PSYOP.”