Answering the Call

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Tasked with hosting an annual Best Warrior Competition, the 4-399th Battalion set to establish obstacles and testing parameters for the competition held on March 23-24.  Out of the dew of a cold, crisp Thursday morning would emerge four willing participants to answer the call.  The purpose of the competition affords participants the opportunity to show others their technical proficiencies in Soldier tasks and further exude the Army Values for which they live to embody.

Four Soldiers volunteered from the region, Staff Sgt. Saije Antonelli, Staff Sgt William Benson, Spec Darren Odell, and Private 1st Class Brandon Kanarek hailing from the 3-304th, 4-399th, 1-398th, and 3-304th Battalions, respectively. Although all Soldiers possessed the ability to exceed standards, only one could be granted the title of winner. Three dozen Soldiers of 4-399th supported the competition.

From Left: Participants engage in the sit-up event of the APFT at 0530 23MAR18.  Soldiers of the 4-399 converge on an intersection during the Day Land Navigation testing phase.  SSG Antonelli and PFC Kanarek receive instruction regarding proper medical evaluation and treatment.  An M249, M240, and M4 rifle are shown disassembled on a conference room table ready for reassembly and function check.  The four contestants ranging from PFC to SSG are all smiles as they await an audience of Senior NCOs for their appearance board. 4-399 S1 SFC Acevedo examines an award for Competition Winner SSG Antonelli as 1st BDE CSM Kaim congratulates the champion.


As in similar competitions, the Soldiers pushed themselves to their limits during a series of events including an Army Physical Fitness Test, Individual Weapons Qualification at George Blair M16 range, a 10K road march, disassemble/assemble/function check machine gun, land navigation (day/night) and demonstrating their mental acuity before an appearance board in addition to submitting an essay.  A round robin-oriented event tested combat lifesaving skills, consisting of three parts: evaluate and treat a casualty, plan and designate evacuation, and secure a perimeter.  After all of these events, a victor was clearly visible.

Staff Sgt Antonelli proudly represented the 3-304th emerging victorious in the  competition, with the 4-399th’s own Staff Sgt.  Benson as runner-up.  A modest ceremony took place upstairs in the Fort Knox Kentucky Reserve Center, with the 1st Brigade Command Sgt. Maj.  meeting the participants for the conclusion of the event.  All participants were presented a certificate of appreciation with  Antonelli receiving  an Army Achievement Medal for his accomplishment.  All indication point to a continuing interest in hosting the competition, and 4-399th encourages more eligible participants to volunteer in future events.


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