News: Best Warrior brings out competitive nature in Army Reserve soldier
Story by Cpl. Charlotte Fitzgerald
FORT MCCOY, Wis. – With less than two years in the Army, Rome, N.Y., native and member of the 200th Military Police Command, Spc. Derek Hanna reveals his competitive nature as he competes in the 2013 Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition.
“People don’t like to play mini-golf or anything with me,” joked Hanna. “It’s too competitive.”
Hanna, who won an Army Commendation Medal for winning the 200th Military Police Command’s Best Warrior Competition, said that he has spent a lot of evenings studying skill level one warrior tasks and drills and has been working out five to six days a week to prepare for the Army Reserve level of the competition.
“I’m looking forward to all of the physical events; combatives, the [physical fitness test], the ruck march, shooting, everything I guess,” he said.
Watching videos of previous competitors and seeing what their achievements have gotten them has helped motivate Hanna to push forward in the competition levels, he said. He stated his family is also a huge motivating factor and he wants to make them proud.
“I am a highly motivated soldier and I always achieve to be the best and do the best that I absolutely can,” Hanna said. “If I have a weakness, I try to make it a strong point.”
Hanna, who works security for a nuclear power plant, has always had a passion for law enforcement as well and said he joined the Army Reserve as a way to advance in that career field.
“I worked law enforcement for the sheriff’s department before the nuclear plant,” Hanna said. “I worked at the sheriff’s department for 5 ½ years and I wanted to further my knowledge of law enforcement and I got the [military police] slot and that’s basically what I wanted.”
Hanna said joining the reserve helped him get the opportunity to work at the plant and make a better income because the company preferred personnel with previous military experience. He said it also helped him become more disciplined and meet a lot of really nice people.
“I live my life the same whether I am wearing the Army uniform or in my civilian uniform, or whether I’m just hanging out,” he said.
Hanna hopes to gain a lot of knowledge from the competition and his fellow competitors, especially those that have deployed and can share their deployment experiences with him.
“My unit is deploying [in the near future], so I would like to wrap up that deployment and become a [noncommissioned officer] sometime soon,” Hanna said. “I also have a goal of getting into Ranger school.”
Hanna said despite the outcome of this competition, he wants to be known as a good, high-speed soldier and leader and an overall good person.