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    79th Sustainment Support Command Best Warrior Competition 2014

    79th SSC BWC 2014

    Photo By Sgt. Heather Doppke | The U.S. Army Reserve's 79th Sustainment Support Command hosted their 2014 Best...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Heather Doppke 

    79th Theater Sustainment Command

    LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – The U.S. Army Reserve's 79th Sustainment Support Command hosted their 2014 Best Warrior Competition at Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos and Camp Pendleton, Calif., May 2-4.

    A total of seven Army Reserve Soldiers competed for the title 79th SSC “Best Warrior.” The Best Warrior Competition seeks out the best candidate that defines a U.S. Army Soldier by testing Soldiers physically and mentally. The competition will consist of one enlisted Soldier and one noncommissioned officer from four separate one-star commands, which fall underneath the command and control of 79th SSC. At the conclusion, one Soldier and one NCO will be named the 79th SSC Best Warriors and represent the command in the U.S. Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition held at Fort Dix, N.J.

    This year's competitors included: Staff Sgt. David Gonzalez, a wheeled vehicle mechanic of the 137th Quartermaster Company, 155th Combat Service Support Battalion, 304th Sustainment Brigade, 311th ESC. Gonzalez has been in the military for nine years and is a native of Tujunga, Calif.

    Sgt. Lance Clifford, an intelligence analyst of the 364th ESC. Clifford has been in the military for almost four years and is a native of Helena, Mont.

    Sgt. Hector Corea, a public affairs specialist of the 366th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, 451st ESC. Corea has been in the military for five years and currently resides in Wichita, Kan.

    Sgt. Damian Robinson, a motor transport operator of the 356th Transportation Company, 383rd Quartermaster Battalion, 647th Regional Support Group, 4th ESC. Robinson has been in the Army for six years and currently resides in Dodge City, Kan.

    Cpl. Elizabeth Bridges, a transport management coordinator of the 711th Transportation Company, 483rd Transportation Battalion, 650th Regional Support Group, 311th ESC. Bridges has been in the Army Reserve for one year and currently resides in Santa Maria, Calif.

    Spc. David Bass, a motor transport operator of the 419th Transportation Company, 191st Combat Service Support Battalion, 96th Sustainment Brigade, 364th ESC. Bass has been in the Army Reserve two years and resides in Salt Lake City.

    Spc. Benjamin Wentz, a shower/laundry and clothing repair specialist of the 974th Quartermaster Company, 372nd Quartermaster Battalion, 647th Regional Support Group, 4th ESC. Wentz has been in the Army Reserve two and half years and resides in Canyon, Texas.

    This competition and what it entails isn’t anything new to these Soldiers. Each of these Soldiers had to earn the right to compete at the 79th SSC’s BWC. They first had to compete and win at similar events held by subordinate commands, and although many of the events are reoccurring, the Soldiers have a lot to benefit and take from these competitions, “…as we continue to train my knowledge expands and it not only benefits myself, but it benefits my soldiers and any other soldiers that I’ll be over one day,” said Bass.

    Upon arrival the Soldiers inprocessed and then attended the opening ceremony. Immediately after, the competition began with a written essay, which tested not only tested their Army knowledge but also tested them on their writing skills and how well they were able to convey their thoughts. Following the essay was their board appearance, which is an intense event, judged by five command sergeants major. From the minute they enter the room these Soldiers are being judged on their appearance, overall posture, how they walk to their seats, their execution of facing movements, and on their confidence in answering questions. They’re expected not only to be knowledgeable on the overall facts and history about the Army and being a Soldier, but also on what’s going on in the world today.

    Day Two began bright and early with the administration of the Army Physical Fitness Test. The APFT is designed to test the Soldiers on their strength and endurance. Surpassing the maximum points in every category and making the APFT extended scale, Corea and Bass took first place for each rank.

    Next the Soldiers moved onto the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000, where they zeroed and qualified for both day and night fire with the M-4. The EST 2000 provides realistic marksmanship and combat scenario training for 12 most common small arms and crew-served and individual anti-tank weapons in the Army inventory.

    Following the EST 2000, the Soldiers then moved onto their Mystery Events, and without knowing what’s next to come, they definitely needed to keep their motivation and energy high. For Clifford his motivation is, “not wanting to lose, you don’t show up for these things wanting to lose, if you come with that kind of mentality you shouldn’t be there, and so whenever I was getting really tired or really wanting to kind of just slow down or take it easy I just had to keep reminding myself why am I here? Why am I here? And just drive on.”

    The first event was an approximate one mile run to the mystery event location. Once there the Soldiers were to assemble, clear, functions check and reassemble a M-9, M-4, 249, 240B and then answer five weapons questions. The Soldiers were timed from the start of their run to them answering their final question.

    For Mystery Event Two the Soldiers were tested their skills and knowledge in Combat Life Saving by demonstrating how to prevent and control shock on a casualty.

    Then onto their final Day Two Event, Combatives, which was NCOs versus NCOs and Soldiers versus Soldiers. Even though every Soldier gave it all they had, Clifford and Wentz were the overall victors.

    Upon the final day of the competition the Soldiers were driven 75 miles to Camp Pendleton, Calif., to compete in the last two events. The first was the 10 kilometer road march, which was conducted in full “battle rattle” to include helmet, weapon, and a rucksack weighing a minimum of 35 pounds. The final event was the Land Navigation course, in which the Soldiers were to plot and find five points that were spread over a seven mile radius. Bass came in first at two hours and 15 minutes and second was Clifford at three hours and eight minutes.

    Although these Soldiers spent three days giving all they had competing against each other, in the end they still see each other as teammates.

    Clifford said, “the camaraderie among the competitors, even though you’re there competing against each other, you’re also at the end of the day … help each other out and that’s really more like a … I think a testament to the camaraderie of the people in U.S. Military and the U.S. Army, that you can be competing against each other but still help each other out, I think that’s my favorite aspect of it.”

    The three day competition, both physically and mentally demanding, was finally over and the Soldiers were brought back to the 79th SSC to await the final announcement of the winners. Maj. Gen. Megan P. Tatu, commanding general of the 79th SSC, held an award ceremony to thank all the competitors and announce one soldier, Bass, and one NCO, Clifford, as the 79th’s Best Warriors. Bass and Clifford will now represent the command in the U.S. Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition held at Fort Dix, N.J.



    Date Taken: 05.04.2014
    Date Posted: 07.08.2014 17:52
    Story ID: 135558
    Location: LOS ALAMITOS, CA, US 
    Hometown: CANYON, TX, US
    Hometown: DODGE CITY, KS, US
    Hometown: HELENA, MT, US
    Hometown: SALT LAKE CITY, UT, US
    Hometown: SANTA MARIA, CA, US
    Hometown: TUJUNGA, CA, US
    Hometown: WICHITA, KS, US

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