News: Carson crowns best warriors
Story by Sgt. William Smith
FORT CARSON, Colo. - Sgt. Ruth Hanks and Cpl. Zachary Bandli rose above their peers to claim the title of noncommissioned officer and Soldier of the Year, respectively, during the Fort Carson Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year Best Warrior Competition, June 2-6.
Hanks, military police, 984th Military Police Company, 759th MP Battalion, and Bandli, 534th Signal Company, 43rd Special Troops Battalion, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, will represent Fort Carson at the III Corps competition at Fort Hood, Texas.
Seventeen Soldiers — eight junior enlisted and nine noncommissioned officers — from various units on Fort Carson battled in the competition which consisted of a physical fitness test, board appearance, written exam, essay, urban orienteering, 12-mile foot march, warrior tasks and battle drills, day and night land navigation and combatives.
“The goal of the competition was to determine, and then send forward, the best Soldier and noncommissioned officer of the 4th Infantry Division to the next level of competition,” said Master Sgt. Edward Carson, noncommissioned officer in charge, NCO/SOY Best Warrior Competition.
“Regardless of who actually won the competition, all of the competitors are winners from their battalions and brigades, and will bring back a wealth of knowledge to improve their Soldiers and peers.”
One competitor felt that every Soldier should compete in a best warrior competition at least once in their career.
“The competition is about not giving up,” said NCO runner-up Staff Sgt. Robert Mullins, combat medic, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 43rd STB, 43rd SB. “To be a good leader you have to lead by example. By competing you show that you want to keep learning and always improve your skills and knowledge. It will help you become known as an all-around Soldier.”
Bandli said he looks forward to overcoming whatever challenges he will face in the III Corps’ Best Warrior Competition.
“It felt great to win,” Bandli said. “My sponsor and I put in a lot of hours and weekends over the last three weeks to get [me] to where I am. My advice for next year’s competitors would be to make sure you put in the long hours prior to the competition; it pays off.”