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    DIVARTY’s Best Compete for Top Honors



    Story by Sgt. Nicholas Brown-Bell 

    DoD Support to CBP Along the SWB       

    Following the physical fitness assessment, competitors were given a very limited amount of time to conduct personal hygiene and prepare their equipment for the remainder of the day’s events. They then moved to a live-fire stress shoot during which facilitators led the competitors through a grueling hour-long physical activity session to simulate the stresses of active combat situations. Activities included burpees, pushups, mountain climbers, sprints, squats, among others, all in full body armor, helmets, and while carrying their assigned rifles. They then immediately participated in the live-fire range, mimicking the conditions of being engaged by the enemy and forcing competitors to prove their skills under stress while taking fire.
    With very little break between events, DIVARTY Soldiers then conducted daytime land navigation, hoping to find four points within two hours on one of the largest courses that Fort Bliss offers. Before dawn the next morning, they returned to the course to do the same during night conditions. For many, this was the most challenging event of the entire competition, with only one competitor finding all four points. After a quick break for breakfast, competitors began a 6-mile ruck march with standard load and weapons back to the DIVARTY COF, with less than two hours to complete.
    Next, a layout of their extensive packing list and hands-on evaluation of six Warrior tasks served as a much-needed rest for the weary Soldiers. Demonstrating combat lifesaving, map reading, and radio operations skills, as well as weapons maintenance on three different systems proved they were truly the best of the best. The final task of the day proved to be the most difficult: the combat water survival test.
    It was “the most challenging part” according to Sgt. Tyler Lewis, HHB, 2-3 FA, of Smithville, Tennessee. Testing consisted of ten different tasks, including proper entrance and exit of the pool, treading water, swimming across the pool with ruck and dummy weapon in tow, and doing so with a battle buddy, simulating an altogether different type of combat lifesaving and survival tactic.
    The final day of competition concluded with a written test of Army information and appearance before a five-member board, presided over by Command Sgt. Maj. Darrell Walls, 1AD DIVARTY. Competitors only had to wait until the next day to find out if they won, when Col. Keith Jarolimek, 1AD DIVARTY Commander, presented Lewis and Spc. Gabriel Perez, B Battery, 2-3 FA as the winners of the DIVARTY NCO and Soldier of the Year, respectively.
    Lewis wanted to compete “to challenge myself and help teach me some new things that I can help teach my Soldiers and make them better also.”
    The purpose of the NCO and Soldier of the Year competition was to discover who is the best of the best within DIVARTY and who truly knows how to best complete basic Army tasks. This is something that Lewis put first throughout the competition, for the betterment of himself, and of his Soldiers.
    “Ultimately, even us NCOs have to perform well under pressure with these 10-level tasks and be able to teach our Soldiers to do the same thing.”
    Lewis and Perez will go on to compete for the title of 1st Armored Division NCO and Soldier of the Year, respectively.



    Date Taken: 12.21.2018
    Date Posted: 01.14.2019 11:51
    Story ID: 306265
    Location: FORT BLISS, TX, US 

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