CAMP BUNTER, N.C. – Soldiers from throughout the 518th Sustainment Brigade, 143 Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) pushed through day three of the brigade’s third annual Best Warrior Competition here today by enduring a 10-kilometer ruck march, land navigation, Army combatives instruction, and a command sergeants’ major board.
Day three of the competition began with a soggy start. The Soldiers gathered before dawn and drew their weapons while they prepared to set out on a 10-kilometer road march that tested their physical and mental toughness.
“The competition has been great so far; very competitive,” said Sgt. Chris Farris, a weapons repairman assigned to the 175th Maintenance Support Company. “The road march has been the hardest so far. You really had to push yourself to do well in it.”
Pfc. Nathan Jackson, a Charleston, S.C., resident and petroleum supply specialist assigned to the 941st Transportation Company, said the march was challenging, but fun. The road march pushed him to his limits, but allowed him to find his weaknesses to work on improving, said Jackson.
Upon completing the march, the eight competitors began the next event of the competition; land navigation. Some Soldiers found this event especially challenging.
“It put my skills to the test,” said Charlotte resident Pfc. Michael Slawon, a chemical specialist assigned to the 812th Transportation Battalion. “I’m not used to doing land navigation in an open field and with the points so spread out like that, but, it was fun.”
After fighting both the conditions and the terrain, soldiers swapped their boots for tennis shoes and received a block of instruction on Army Combatives, where they continued to push one another to the next level.
According to Staff Sgt. Alvah Lawson, an armament platoon sergeant and competitor sponsor assigned to the 175th Maint. Support Co., only two of the competing Soldiers had prior experience in Army Combatives.
“Hand to hand combat is something I think everyone should know,” said Farris, a Columbia, S.C., resident. “As Soldiers, we need all the weapons we can get, and if you don’t have a weapon, turn yourself into one.”
The day concluded with the Command Sergeants’ Major board, where the competitors dressed in their Army Service Uniforms and demonstrated their proficiency and knowledge in Army regulations and Army Warrior Tasks and Drills.
The winners in each of the two categories, noncommissioned officer and junior enlisted, are to be announced tomorrow and will move two groomed warriors on to the 143rd ESC Best Warrior Competition later this year.