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CPL Benedict: A True Iron Man

Not every soldier can hang up their P.C. at the end of the day knowing that they are truly the best warrior. Since our origins, the 95th-Iron Men of Metz have stood taller, fought longer, and trained harder than our peers and it continues to show. When we wear the iconic 95th patch on our arm we carry with it a legacy and pride that continues to go to this day. 

One of our own, Spc. Brady Benedict (who was recently promoted to corporal) of 1st-354th, Charlie Company, 3rd Brigade, 95th Training Division out of Stillwater, Oklahoma won the title both Top Marksman and Best Warrior in the U.S Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition. 

This competition saw many competitors across the entirety of the Army Reserve put their skills to the test over several long days of training and evaluation in order to determine the Army Reserve’s top Soldiers. Approximately 40 Soldiers from across the Nation traveled to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, to compete in the 2022 U.S. Best Warrior Best Squad Competition from May 14-21, 2022. 

These elite Soldiers endured some of the Army’s toughest challenges designed to stretch the Soldier’s minds and bodies to the limit. The Nation’s best Soldiers completed the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), Swim Event, Zodiac Insertion Course, Confidence and Conditioning Course, Land Navigation Day/Night, Range Day, Tunnel Event, Combined Arms Collective Training Facility, Sniper Tower Event, and 12-Mile Ruck March.

Immediately after the Awards Ceremony, Benedict shared his thoughts on the competition and his momentous accomplishment with Staff Sgt. Graves in the U.S. Army Reserve’s Facebook: Live Award Ceremonies coverage.

When asked about looking back and his expectations going in, Benedict smiled with the unmistakable look of someone looking back after being put through the wringer, “It is what I thought it was going to be. It was a lot of hard competition”

He continued, “I was thoroughly impressed with the scale of the competition that was here, everyone was very squared away. The whole time I didn’t know where I sat. Everyone was kicking butt.” 

Transitioning to Benedict’s other noteworthy Top Marksman award Graves asked, “What is it like to be the best shot out of 38 people?” 

Benedict grinned with triumph still shining on his face, “That was genuinely a shock to me, I don’t think I’m a great marksman. I didn’t think that I did too great on my M4, my pistol qual was a 29 out of 30. I know that I only missed 1 shot. 

Benedict also credits his score to his experience as a military police and the amount of time that he has had on machine gun reloads.

Graves asked about the rigorous schedule and lack of sleep that they operated on. 

Benedict responds jovially, “I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep the first few days. I remember sleeping on the concrete a few times. I woke up to the sound of helicopters.” 

“I didn’t know where I was at a few times, very disoriented because I was so exhausted. I could fall asleep right on the spot. But I’m better now, well-rested now. My body was sore most of the competition, but I’m well recovered now.”

Lastly, Graves inquired where Benedict plans on going from here. 

“From here, I’m going back to Stillwater Oklahoma to train up for the Department of the Army competition and for the Drill Sergeant Academy here in the future.”

As a new member of the 95th family, Benedict certainly has lived up to the legacy of the Iron Men of Metz. From his battle buddies to his company leadership, and all the way up to the 108th command, everyone is proud of Benedict and wishes him luck at both the Drill Sergeant Academy and the Department of the Army’s Best Warrior Competition in September 2022. We at the 95th will continue to watch Benedict’s career with great interest. 

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