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    Maine's Best Warriors Compete for State Title

    Maine's Best Warriors Compete for State Title

    Photo By Sgt. Jarod Dye | Two lower enlisted Soldiers and four Noncommissioned Officers from various units in...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Jarod Dye 

    121st Public Affairs Detachment

    “We’ve brought together the winners of the battalion level to compete for the title of NCO and Soldier of the Year,” said the command sergeant major. “They will then go on to compete in the regional competition in May at West Point.”

    The six battalion winners are pushed mentally and physically in a series of challenges to find out who is the most well-rounded Soldier. The ten events took place at the Bangor 240th Regiment Regional Training Institute, April 6 and 7.

    “The Soldiers competed in everything from land navigation to a PT (Physical Training) test to a written test to warrior tasks,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Alexander Clifford, of the 240th Regiment Regional Training Institute. “They’re finishing the competition with 12-mile ruck march.”

    Other events included vehicle searches, marksmanship, sergeants’ major boards, weapons assembly and disassembly, radio communications, medical skills, and a CBRN (Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear) event.

    This year’s competition was extremely close with the Soldiers only being separated by a few points.

    “I’ve been involved with this competitions for about 25 years and this is the tightest competition I’ve seen,” said Clifford.

    This competition serves more purpose than it may seem from the outside.

    “We like to instill esprit de corps in the troop and recognize those top performers in the units,” said Clifford. “It’s a tradition and it helps us identify our future leaders.”

    All of the competitors enjoyed the challenges, and all had a favorite event.

    “The ruck march was my favorite part,” said Spc. Nicholas Bourget, a human resources specialist with the 488th Military Police Company. “I like physical activity, I’m a distance runner, it’s kind of my game.”

    Bourget, who placed first among the junior enlisted learned from this event and noted that he had studied intensively beforehand.

    “I learned it’s never a bad idea to over-prepare,” said Bourget. “It gave me a bit of confidence knowing what I was getting into task after task.”

    Regardless of rank, the competitors knew that if they hoped to succeed, preparation is key.

    “Every time you do these competitions you learn a bunch of stuff when you’re studying for the boards or even a warrior task you might not remember,” said Sgt. Jhustin Welch of the 11th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, who placed first among the NCO’s.

    Each Soldier and NCO was allowed to bring one mentor with them from their unit. This mentorship helps provide a support channel, and builds on the esprit de corps.

    “When you’re in the moment before doing any task your mind kind of goes blank,” said Bourget. “You have the mentor there to give you some pointers and tips, it helped out a lot.”

    Mentorship does not stop at the individual that joins the competitor at the event.

    “Thankfully with my unit I have a lot of mentors all with their strong subjects whether that’s communications or practicing for the board,” said Welch. “I had Sgt. Wing here today, he pretty much did the whole ruck with me.”

    Now Bourget and Welch will continue to study and prepare as they get ready to compete in the regional event in May.

    “I’m still at a point of disbelief, I’m sure tomorrow the realization will hit me and I’ll be very happy,” said Bourget. “I’m also very tired!”



    Date Taken: 04.07.2018
    Date Posted: 04.08.2018 16:39
    Story ID: 272196
    Location: BANGOR, ME, ME, US
    Hometown: BANGOR, ME, US

    Web Views: 224
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    Maine's Best Warriors Compete for State Title