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    18th MEDCOM (DS) holds its 2016 Best Warrior Competition



    Story by Pfc. Bryan Faison 

    18th Medical Command (Deployment Support)

    HONOLULU – Over the course of three grueling days in February, soldiers of 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) battled exhaustion and muscle failure, culminating with a final test of Army warrior tasks to earn the distinction of 18th MEDCOM (DS)’s best warrior.

    A dark, cool and breezy morning saw the beginning of a day that would test the will and determination of each soldier. Kicked-off with an Army physical fitness test, soldiers took a quick recess and attacked a physical challenge pushing each of them to the brink of muscle failure.

    Under the pressure of complete fatigue, drill and ceremony followed giving them a chance to catch their breath, but that was short lived as they transitioned directly into urban orienteering (land navigation).

    “The events were exhausting, by the time we got to land nav(igation) it was hard to focus, it was a real test,” said Pfc. Juwan Buckner, a human resource specialist with 18th MEDCOM (DS).

    Day two wasn’t for the faint of heart. The resiliency of each soldier would be put to the test as they embarked on an eight mile rucksack challenge on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. With two hours to complete, each participant shouldered thirty-five pounds in their rucksack, which was verified before and after completion, and it proved to be an daunting task for each soldier over the course of the challenge.

    Returning to Fort Shafter, soldiers paused to take a written exam that focused on Army history, unit history, and basic military information.

    After the exam, the competitors were thrust back into Army warrior task and drill lanes. After disassembling and reassembling their M16A1 rifles, soldiers ran across a field where they came across unexploded ordinance and had to call it in.

    Continuing on, they climbed over barriers, low crawled obstacles and cared for a simulated casualty. The strain kicked in and muscles tightened up as they were forced to drag a casualty approximately forty yards to a safety zone.

    The marathon event concluded with communications, chemical and evacuation procedures.

    “The Best Warrior Competition concept we used this year was designed to physically and mentally tax the Soldiers, as this forces the candidates to be remain mentally agile while having to make critical decisions,” said Master Sgt. John Castillo, the preventative medicine non-commissioned officer in charge for 18th MEDCOM (DS).

    The third and final day of the competition was less taxing on the body as it was a battle of composure and knowledge as the soldiers faced the daunting task of a sergeant’s major board appearance.

    “For it being my first board appearance and seeing five sergeants major, it was a little nerve racking,” said Pfc. Eugene Page a culinary services specialist for 18th MEDCOM(DS).

    On Feb. 23, at the 9th Mission Command’s auditorium on Fort Shafter Flats, Sgt. Alfredo Ganigan, a paralegal noncommissioned officer, and Spc. Alan Briscoe, a food services specialist were recognized as the 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support)’s 2016 Best Warriors. Both soldiers will now prepare for USARPAC’s 2016 Army Pacific Best Warrior Challenge held in June.

    On the upcoming competition, Briscoe said, “I look forward to competing against soldiers from across the pacific, it will be a great test.”



    Date Taken: 02.23.2016
    Date Posted: 03.02.2016 21:52
    Story ID: 190910
    Location: HONOLULU, HI, US 

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    18th MEDCOM (DS) holds its 2016 Best Warrior Competition