News: Army Reserve soldier keeps Best Warrior tradition alive
Story by Staff Sgt. Marnie Jacobowitz
PINELLAS PARK, Fla. – Cpl. Adam Lucas, an Army Reserve biomedical equipment specialist, won the 2012 Army Reserve Medical Command Best Warrior Competition. Lucas competed against 12 Soldiers from around the country at Camp Blanding and Pinellas Park, Fla., March 26-30.
The grueling five-day competition taxed each soldier’s mental and physical mettle. One competing soldier said that you can really do more than you think you can. Another indicated that each soldier drives off one another, and creates a team. A native of Kalispell, Mont., and a member of the 4225th United States Army Hospital at Fort Harrison in Helena, Mont., Lucas beat out seven competitors to be named ‘Best Warrior’ in the non-commissioned officer regional category.
He will now go on to compete against soldiers from other U.S. Army Reserve Commands where he could earn the opportunity to compete at the Department of the Army level competition.
Lucas earned the right as a specialist to compete from his unit by being selected as “Soldier of the Year” coupled with his promotion to corporal, qualifying him to compete in the non-commissioned officer category.
Keeping the unit tradition alive in the 4225th USAH, Western Medical Area Readiness Support Group, Lucas, 24, was the junior non-commissioned officer of the Best Warrior Competition, and is the fifth non-commissioned officer to win this title in his command.
“Our unit has a very strong history in this competition of doing a great job,” said Lucas, who has a little over three years in the Army. “I have to compete to see what I have in me … and how I stack up to veteran NCOs.”
Over the length of the competition, each soldier had to complete numerous events that were scored based on time or accuracy.
These events included an obstacle course, rappelling towers, an Army physical fitness test, day and night urban orienteering courses, 10K-road march, weapons qualification on rifles and pistols, hand-to-hand combative tournament, a written essay and a weapons box mystery event which turned out to require contestants to disassemble and reassemble four different weapons, an M4 rifle, 9 MM Beretta, M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, and M240B machine gun. In all, soldiers marched approximately 20 miles in a two-day period with more than 50 pounds of cargo on their back, testing their strength and endurance.
“We don’t see this type of training all the time,” said Lucas. “I understand the fiscal restraints, but this is definitely the type of training we should keep up as a unit.”
The 4225th USAH, a part of the Army Reserve Medical Command near Tampa, Fla., breeds Best Warriors, over the past five years, the unit has been represented at AR-MEDCOM Best Warrior Competition, 2011 Staff Sgt. Benjamin Reehl, 2010, Staff Sgt. Christopher Lee, 2009 Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler, and Spec. Christopher Ludwig, and Sgt. Joseph Degel in 2007 and 2006.
Butler, a medical logistics non-commissioned officer from Three Forks, Mont., represented the command at the Department of the Army level competition.
“We all know when this competition is coming up and take a lot of pride in it,” said Lucas, a 2006 Flathead High School graduate.
Originally from Kalispell, Lucas now resides in Pasco, Wash., with his wife, Merideth, and they are expecting their first child in April.
He works full time at Lourdes Medical Center in Pasco, as a biomed equipment specialist. He has an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Culinary Arts from Flathead Valley Community College, Kalispell.
At the end of the five-day event, Lucas’ scores and times were the best out of the group propelling him into the national, Army Reserve wide competition that will be held July 14-18, at Fort McCoy, Wis.
The Best Warrior Competition was developed by retired Sergeant Major of the Army Jack Tilley in 2002 as a test of a soldier’s physical endurance, military knowledge, and mental perseverance.
“All my Soldiers will be competing for the opportunity to come here next year,” said Lucas. “Just getting to hear what happened down here, they will be excited about coming here.”