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    Fort Indiantown Gap hosts 2018 state-level Best Warrior Competition

    Fort Indiantown Gap hosts 2018 state-level Best Warrior Competition

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Zane Craig | Sgt. Brian Bean, a wheeled vehicle mechanic with the 213th Regional Support Group,...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Zane Craig 

    Fort Indiantown Gap

    FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – Twelve enlisted Pennsylvania Army National Guard Soldiers competed in the 2018 state-level Best Warrior Competition here March 26-29.

    The Soldiers competed in ten events designed to test their physical and mental endurance and assess the "Whole Soldier Concept."

    The events were: a written exam, the Army Physical Fitness Test, M4 carbine zero and qualification, M9 pistol qualification, obstacle course, a six mile road march, a night/day land navigation challenge, a mystery event, a warrior tasks evaluation, and finally, a leadership/appearance board.

    The competition was designed to feature basic soldiering tasks not unique to any military occupational specialty. It included a mix of physical and mental tasks intended to be stressful and test the Soldiers’ endurance.

    “We all had good camaraderie together and we were able to work together and do little hip-pocket training sessions and encourage one another, so it was challenging, but in a good way that promoted growth,” said Sgt. Joseph Baker, an M1 Armor crewman with I troop, 3rd Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 55th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, and a native of Williamsport, Pa.

    Spc. Reed Miller, an infantryman with D company,1st Battalion, 110th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and a native of Irwin, Pa. won the Best Soldier category. Sgt. Joseph Baker won the Best Noncommissioned officer category. Miller and Baker will go on to compete at the regional competition in May at Fort Pickett, Va.

    Staff Sgt. Daniel Ondrusek, a field artillery firefinder radar operator with the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 108th Field Artillery Regiment, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team and a native of Myerstown, Pa., won the Sgt. Maj. Fields competition, but will not compete at regionals because the Sgt. Maj. Fields Competition does not exist at that level.

    The weather and terrain here can be an additional stressor, as anyone who has trained here knows. The competition coincided with cold, wet weather, featuring freezing temperatures, wind, and plenty of mud.

    “It was flipping tough as heck, but we had a good time, we pushed through it together,” said Miller, who added, in agreement with the other competitors, that the Army Physical Fitness test, taken after completing the obstacle course and ruck march, was the most challenging event.

    Although it was a hard-fought competition, the competitors said they were helping each other succeed, learn and become better Soldiers. After a day of competition, everyone worked together to study for upcoming events.

    ‘It was an excellent experience, and I think anybody who really tries will get what they want out of it,” said Baker.

    Fort Indiantown Gap, run by members of the Pennsylvania National Guard and Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, will host the National Best Warrior Competition in July and led the nation in Army National Guard training mandays for 2017.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact Lt. Col. Angela King-Sweigart (717)861-8829, or e-mail



    Date Taken: 04.03.2018
    Date Posted: 04.03.2018 13:46
    Story ID: 271640

    Web Views: 449
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