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    First Army Division West Best OC/T Competition

    First Army Division West Best OCT Ruck March

    Photo By Spc. Elizabeth MacPherson | U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Katz (left) and Capt. Patrick Thomas (right), assigned to...... read more read more

    WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES

    05.22.2024

    Story by Pfc. Brent Lee 

    5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   

    Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. – Twenty-two U.S. Soldiers from around the country arrived early in the morning of May 20th to compete in the First Army Division West General Omar N. Bradley Best Observer Coach/Trainer Competition (BOC/TC), hosted by the 189th Infantry Brigade. The purpose of the BOC/TC is to identify Officers, Warrant Officers, & Noncommissioned Officers assigned across five brigades within First Army Division West, who demonstrate outstanding OC/T skills, military performance, leadership, and achievement. The Best OC/T Competition included 11 teams, each consisting of two Soldiers, that tested the Soldiers’ physical endurance, mental fortitude, and ability to work individually and together as a cohesive team.

    Observer Coach/Trainers assigned to First Army partnered with Soldiers and units in the U.S. Army Reserve and U.S. Army National Guard prior to deployments, providing experience, coaching, and impartial evaluation to ensure deploying units are prepared to assume their mission. OC/Ts attend battle assemblies, annual training, mobilization training and often visit the units while deployed to collect lessons learned to continually improve their ability to coach from unit feedback. The relationships built through this cycle build understanding and interoperability across Active Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard. Their skills as trainers are assessed and recognized through the competition. The competition itself is an embodiment of one of U.S. Army Forces Command’s priorities which is, “Win as a balanced Total Army.”

    “We coach, train, and mentor,” said Command Sergeant Major Victor M. Benavides, senior enlisted advisor to the 189th Infantry Brigade. “Soldiers as an OC/T need to stay relevant; they need to have the latest tactics and techniques that the regular Army is using so we can transfer these skills to the other units.”

    During the two-day competition, competitors were assessed on their physical readiness, marksmanship ability, OC/T depth of knowledge, and ability to perform a wide range of tactical and technical common skills. The competition features a variety of events ranging from land navigation, situational lanes that tested knowledge of weapon systems and ability to employ them accurately, an obstacle course, and a written knowledge test based on their skills and knowledge of being an Observer, Coach/Trainer. These events tested the competitor’s ability to maintain the currency and relevancy of their knowledge and their ability to train U.S. Army Soldiers.

    “There are some individual parts in this competition, but anything that we do in the Army is about team building,” said Sgt Maj. Randall Pritts, Operations Sergeant Major for First Army Division West. “This type of team event is essential.”

    The 2024 Gen. Omar N. Bradley Best OC/T Competition concluded with a ceremony for the participants on May 22, 2024. Capt. Daniel Maricle, from Mackinaw, Illinois, and Staff Sgt. Christoper Herod, from Austell, Georgia, both assigned to the 189th Infantry Brigade at JBLM, took home the first-place trophy in this year's competition.

    “The ability to work together as a team was crucial because there were times when we picked each other up,” said Maricle, proceeding the ceremony. “I think that teamwork and ability to know when to lead and when to follow, those skills combined are what gave us the victory here.”

    Maricle and Herod and the other top two winning teams will go on to compete in the First Army Best OC/T Competition from August 27th through 29th, 2024 in Fort Stewart, GA.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.22.2024
    Date Posted: 05.29.2024 18:43
    Story ID: 472499
    Location: WASHINGTON, US
    Hometown: AUSTELL, GEORGIA, US
    Hometown: FORT CAVAZOS, TEXAS, US
    Hometown: JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WASHINGTON, US
    Hometown: KILLEEN, TEXAS, US
    Hometown: MACKINAW, ILLINOIS, US

    Web Views: 110
    Downloads: 1

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