Best Warrior Competition:

95th Division Warriors compete for Title

06/07/2010  |  Capt. Jennifer K. Cotton Public Affairs Officer 95th Training Division (IET)
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Staff Sgt. Alfonozo Webber, 3rd Brigade, 3-398th, a competitor at the 95th Training Division Best Warrior Competition, powers through to complete a chin-up on the last monkey bar, the final event of a muddy and wet obstacle course at Fort Knox, Ky. Photo by Cpt. Jennifer Cotton, 95th Training Division (IET) Public Affairs.

This year’s 95th Training Division (IET) Best Warrior Competition (BWC) was hosted by 3rd Brigade from March 28 through April 2 at Fort Knox, Ky. The competition kicked off with 25 soldiers vying for titles of Soldier, Non-Commissioned Officer and Drill Sergeant of the Year.

 

The winners were Staff Sgt. Kyle Drube, 3-415, 2nd Brigade, Drill Sergeant of the Year; Staff Sgt. Mark Mercer, 3-378, 1st Brigade, Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year; and Spc. Treveron Anglin, 3-415, 2nd Brigade, Soldier of the Year.

The annual event vets division soldiers to determine the best candidates to send forward to the next level of competitions at the Army Reserve Command. The three soldiers selected will now have an opportunity to hone their skills and represent the division with hopes of taking home their respective titles for the entire Army Reserve.

 

Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Marty A. Collins, 108th Training Command (IET) Public Aff airs.

Soldiers competing in the 95th Training Division Best Warrior Competition had to find ways to become familiar with weapons that are not readily available to all Reserve units such as the M203 and M249.

Soldiers learned quickly that the BWC was not for the ill-prepared. The tasks were physically demanding and the hours long. The sleep deprived soldiers had to find the strength and mental capacity to keep moving forward. Even after a 12 mile road march with a 30 pound ruck, soldiers had to still their muscle fatigued bodies because it took a steady hand to meticulously and expeditiously assemble the weapons that lay before them at the finish line.

Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Marty A. Collins, 108th Training Command (IET) Public Affairs.

Staff Sgt. Daryl Lee, 4th Brigade, 3-334th, carries a Soldier to safety as competitors learned during the Situational Training Exercise lanes which were also a part of the BWC in March.

When asked, most soldiers said that the 12 mile road march was the biggest challenge of the BWC. But for Drube, he said the toughest event was the weapons portion because many Reserve units do not have access to the weapons tested during the BWC and it is difficult for soldiers to have hands on experience. He said, “What helped me most on this task was linking up with the armorer of a National Guard cavalry unit before I came to the competition.”

Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Marty A. Collins, 108th Training Command (IET) Public Aff airs.

Sgt. 1st Class Jered Williams and Staff Sgt. Anedra Collier evaluate Soldiers as they React to Ambush (Near) during the ituational Training Exercise during the 95th Training Division Best Warrior Competition, held at Ft. Knox, Ky. in March.

Throughout the competition, Soldiers were tested on their knowledge of warrior tasks, and history of the Army, but no doubt Soldiers’ physical prowess played a heavy role in determining the winners. For an event that meeting the Army standards was a minimum, winners were made by sheer seconds or points. The higher Army Physical Fitness Test scores and faster finishing times on the confidence course could very well be what separated the title winner from the runner-up.

Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Marty A. Collins, 108th Training Command (IET) Public Aff airs.

Staff Sgt. Cory Baker, Staff Sgt. Neal Skees, Staff Sgt. Thomas Dunbar, Staff Sgt. Kyle Drube, Staff Sgt. Matthew Elzinga, Sgt. Luis Lopez, Staff Sgt. Mark Mercer, Staff Sgt. Bryan Herdliska, Staff Sgt. Jason Scott. These 95th Training Division Soldiers were inducted into the prestigious Staff Sgt. Andrew Miller Club and awarded the Army Commendation Medal at Fort Knox, Ky. during the award ceremony honoring the 95th Training Division Best Warrior competition.

Anglin said for next year’s competition, the two things he would tell Soldiers to do is to study the Army Study Guide and raise their Army fitness score. He said, “Once they have improved those two things, most other things will naturally come.”

Photos by Sgt. 1st Class Marty A. Collins, 108th Training Command (IET) Public Aff airs.

(Pictured L-R) Drill Sergeant of the Year, Staff Sgt. Kyle Drube; NCO of the Year, Staff Sgt. Mark Mercer; and Soldier of the Year, Spc. Treveron Anglin, receive their awards from Brig. Gen. Roger B. Duff, commanding general, 95th Training Division (IET) and Command Sgt. Maj. Don Smith at the awards dinner which capped off the week long competition. Photos by Sgt. 1st Class Marty A. Collins, 108th Training Command (IET) Public Affairs.

The competition was capped off with an awards dinner where the winners were announced. Drube, the newly selected Drill Sergeant of the Year said that the best character trait of a drill sergeant is confidence and knowledge. Knowing what you are training or the task that you are engaged in will lead to confidence. A drill sergeant that is not knowledgeable in what they are training will lack confidence, he said.

Even before Mercer found out he had taken the title of Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, he was looking ahead to next year’s competition and said that he would definitely be giving advice to Soldiers in his unit on how to prepare for such a difficult event.

Preparation was a constant sentiment among the competitors. Staff Sgt. Thomas Dunbar, 1-354, 1st Brigade, said, “The BWC is not easy.” He recommended Soldiers prepare early by becoming familiar with all the weapons systems tested and physically training for the road march.

Drube will represent the division in July at the Army Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year competition to be held at Forts Eustis and Monroe. Mercer and Anglin will head to the Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition later this year. With their experiences at the division’s BWC, it probably goes without saying they are busy preparing.

Soldiers inducted to SAMC

During the BWC, Soldiers were also able to challenge themselves for entrance into the Staff Sgt. Andrew Miller Club (SAMC). Many of the tasks tested in the BWC were also used to determine soldiers who met the rigorous qualifications to be inducted into SAMC. SAMC honors the name and service of Miller, the division’s only Medal of Honor recipient. The Club promotes an interest in the rich history of the division and encourages soldiers to live the Army values and always hone their warrior skills. The following Soldiers were inducted at the awards dinner.   

  • Staff Sgt. Kyle Drube, 3-415, 2nd Brigade, also Drill Sergeant of the Year
  • Staff Sgt. Mark Mercer, 3-378, 1st Brigade, also Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year
  • Staff Sgt. Bryan Herdliska, 2-413, 2nd Brigade
  • Staff Sgt. Matthew Elizinga, 3-330, 4th Brigade
  • Staff Sgt. Thomas Dunbar, 1-354, 1st Brigade
  • Staff Sgt. Jason Scott, 3-378, 1st Brigade
  • Sgt. Neal Skees, 2-398, 3rd Brigade
  • Sgt. Luis Lopez, 1-415, 2nd Brigade
  • Sgt. Cory Baker, 3-354, 2nd Brigade

In addition to the honor of being accepted into the SAMC, each newly selected member also received an Army Commendation Medal for their exceptional performance during the BWC.

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