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    Competing to be the Best

    Competing to be the Best

    Photo By Sgt. Dakota Helvie | Sgt. Entyse Puschzuniga, a motor transport operator assigned to 137th Transportation...... read more read more

    HASTINGS, NE, UNITED STATES

    05.17.2019

    Story by Sgt. Dakota Helvie 

    105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    Hastings, Nebraska - When Sgt. Entyse Puschzuniga and Spc. Mishael Redenbaugh arrived at the Nebraska Training Center in Greenlief, Nebraska, May 14-16, they knew they were in for a grueling weekend.
    Puschzuniga, a motor transport operator assigned to 137th Trucking Company, and Redenbaugh, a combat medic assigned to 130th Field Artillery Brigade, were the Kansas Army National Guard’s representatives in the Region V Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition.
    Prior to the actual competition were weeks of preparation. “I went swimming and ran five to six miles when I could,” said Puschzuniga.
    After arrival, in-processing, and a briefing on what to expect, competitors had to complete height and weight qualification before moving on to zero range and the Command Sergeants Major board, which tested the Soldiers on general technical and tactical knowledge and their ability to answer on-the-spot questions.
    “All the Army Values come into play here,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Ricky Matticks, 130th Field Artillery Brigade. “(Redenbaugh and Puschzuniga) see what they are capable of doing. The big picture is seeing the Soldier grow and develop.”
    The first full-day kicked off with an early morning Army Physical Fitness Test via an obstacle course, followed by battle drills and warrior tasks that included radio checks, tactical care under fire, and care under cover.
    The weather climbed to the high 80s as the competitors made it to the known-distance range, competing in a pershing match with the M16 rifle and M9 handgun.
    From there, the Soldiers moved on to the timed stress fire, which included a tire flip, moving five-gallon canisters, and firing their rifle and pistol while surrounded by multiple colors of smoke. Once completed, the competitors ran to another range to fire the shotgun, grenade launcher and a machine gun. Competitors took a short break before moving out to land navigation.
    Day Two was devoted to the last event of the competition, a twelve-mile ruck march. Once complete and the rucks weighed, they could rest until the banquet that afternoon.
    The enlisted were recognized by each state command sergeant major with a coin for giving it their all during the competition. The noncommissioned officers did the same before the announcement and awards for best warriors.
    “I want them to know how proud they have made me personally and how proud they should be of what they have accomplished during the competition,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Harold Whitley, command sergeant major of the Kansas Army National Guard – Land Component.
    “The best part of this completion is meeting new individuals and gaining those connections,” said Puschzuniga. “This experience will make me a better leader.”
    Redenbaugh commented on how she pushed herself to stay motivated, to keep moving on the ruck march.
    “The bigger point to take away from a competition like this is ‘What did you learn?’ especially about what it is you can do in the future to become better,” said Matticks. “We know that you are learning because you are the next generation of leaders.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.17.2019
    Date Posted: 05.22.2019 13:41
    Story ID: 323462
    Location: HASTINGS, NE, US 
    Hometown: MANHATTAN, KS, US
    Hometown: OLATHE, KS, US
    Hometown: TOPEKA, KS, US

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    Competing to be the Best