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    120th Infantry Brigade Best Warrior Competition

    120th Infantry Brigade Best Warrior Competition

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Ryan Rayno | Staff Sgt. Chad Williamson, a combat engineer with 1st Brigade Engineering Battalion,...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Ryan Rayno 

    7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    120th Infantry Brigade crowns best warrior
    Soldiers from the 120th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division West, competed in the unit’s semiannual best warrior competition consisting of nine mentally and physically challenging events on Fort Hood, Oct. 21-25, 2019.
    The competition tested Soldiers on rifle marksmanship, day and night land navigation, advanced trauma lanes, an Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), a written exam and a board where all board members were Command Sergeants Major board.
    Staff Sgt. Chad Williamson, a combat engineer with the 395th Brigade Engineering Battalion, narrowly beat out five other Soldiers from the Brigade.
    “It feels great to win,” Williamson said. “It was a tough competition throughout the week and it feels great to come out on top.”
    For Williamson, the toughest part of the competition was the very first event.
    “To me the hardest event was the day-one event, the medical lane,” Williamson said. “It was the most physically taxing thing we did all week.”
    For the advanced trauma lanes, competitors were required to navigate six-foot walls of various angles to get to a simulated casualty and perform care under fire. Once completed, competitors carried the casualty to a safe location 50 meters away followed by suppressing simulated enemy fire.
    Competitors then had to overcome obstacles to reach a weighted mannequin that required medical attention approximately 20 meters away. The final leg included an uphill drag of the mannequin secured on the liter through mud to the event finish line approximately 100 meters away, all while wearing full body armor.
    Though the Soldiers were competing against each other, they all worked together to improve one another, pushing and motivating the collective group to heights they would unable to reach alone.
    “With it being a competition, you would have thought there would be more of a competitive aspect to it, but actually everyone came together and really helped each other make it to the end,” said Williams.
    Staff Sgt. Audrey Cruz, a unit supply specialist with the 382nd Logistical Support Battalion, echoed the sentiment.
    “From day one, we knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses, but we never held back as far as helping each other,” Cruz said. “We knew it was a competition, but we all helped each other out, even with all the lengths we had to go through. Everybody was just supportive.”
    Now better Soldiers and leaders for having participated in the competition, each competitor will go back to their respective units where they will pass on their knowledge and experience to their peers. From there they will continue the Brigade’s mission as observer-controller/trainers for Reserve Component Deployment Expeditionary Force units preparing for upcoming deployments.
    “An organization like this focuses on training units,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Carolyn Y. Donaldson, the 120th Infantry Brigade Command Sergeant Major. “We have to prepare these units through training a year back from deployment and ensure our Soldiers go through the post mobilization process once they return.”
    Each competitor understood the importance of taking the skills they learned and improved upon through the competition, back home to continue the unit’s primary mission.
    “As an OC/T, I think the biggest thing is teaching and letting fellow Soldiers know that these basic warrior tasks and drills that we do and are perishable skills. We need to understand how important it is to focus on the fundamentals,” said Staff Sgt. Jordan Mertes, a signal support systems specialist with the 361st Training Support Battalion.
    According to Donaldson, the competition was an overall success and she couldn’t be happier with what transpired over the course of the week.
    “These Soldiers that you saw out here put in a lot of time, effort and dedication,” Donaldson said. “They’re working hard on their day-job, but they’re also out here going above and beyond and setting the stage for the next group of Soldiers. I’m just so very proud of them.”
    With the competition complete, Williamson will move on to compete in the First Army Division West best warrior competition that is slated to take place in February 2020.



    Date Taken: 10.25.2019
    Date Posted: 10.30.2019 16:18
    Story ID: 349945
    Location: FORT HOOD, TX, US 

    Web Views: 90
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