News: Intelligence analyst competes for best of the best
Story by Cpl. Jeff Shackelford
FORT McCOY, Wis. – With 14 years of experience Sgt. 1st Class Sean McClenachan brings knowledge, leadership and unbridled determination to the 2013 Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition. He started his Army Reserve career as a private, battling his way up the ranks to become a leader, and now a competitor soldiers can rely on.
McClenachan, an intelligence analyst assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Command, Military Intelligence Readiness Command, Fort Belvoir, Va., also served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, said that while he was living in New Jersey he servied as an noncommissioned officer for his unit in Maryland and did not make enough money to warrant the long drive. However, he felt compelled to be there for his troops and complete the mission.
“I didn’t get paid to travel but I knew soldiers relied on some of the things I could provide for them on battle assembly weekends,” said McClenachan. “You have to drive on.”
Outside of working at the reserve unit, McClenachan has been training hard to stay physically fit using a variety of exercises six days a week, even working out at a local dojo.
“I have incorporated a ruck march into my PT, and I incorporated combatives as best I could," said McClenachan. “The Fort Belvoir dojo trainers, prepared me as best the could with the limited amount of time I had to work with them.”
McClenachan said there were days leading up to the completion when he would do a heavy workout in the morning and then run three to four miles in the 90-degree heat wearing full uniform and boots in order to prepare for the austere conditions he might face during this competition.
“There are nine mystery events; so who knows what to expect.” said McClenachan.
Though McClenachan is competing to win, he still has not forgotten he is a leader. During his preparation for the competition, he has also been mentoring a junior enlisted soldier who also won the previous BWC alongside McClenachan.
“The night that he and I won I said, ‘Call me if you need something,’ and I gave him my cellphone number,” said McClenachan.
As the competition kicks off, McClenachan says that he knows his strengths and weaknesses and just like he overcame diversity in the past, he is ready for the competition to come.