FORT HUNTER-LIGGETT, Calif. – Three Soldiers striving to be the best of the best of the best: a garage band drummer, a truck driver and high school principal walk into a room… and it’s not the beginning of a bad joke, but the continuation of the warriors’ journeys.
For Spc. Brady Benedict, Staff Sgt. Benjamin Parler and Sgt 1st Class Delbert Rossiter, all of the Army Reserve’s 108th Training Command, this is not their first rodeo. The three Soldiers showcased the best of their abilities in their war fighting skills and Soldier tasks by being standout performers in their quest to the U.S. Army Reserve Command Best Warrior Competition. The event brings together top-tier Soldiers to test their mental and physical fortitude all while performing basic Soldier tasks.
Spc. Brady Benedict is a native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma currently serving as an Army Reserve military police officer with the 95th Training Division of the 108th Training Command. Benedict has surpassed his peers in high level performances, instituting him to be the best Soldier in the command to represent the 108th Training Command at the next level. Establishing himself to be the best of the 95th and the best of the 108th , the best of the best.
When Benedict is not sharpening his land navigation skills or shooting targets on the range, he plays the drums for his garage band. Benedict, alongside his college roommates, performs at local bars in Weatherford, Oklahoma where he finds joy in playing the drums. “My performances prepare me for long nights in competitions and make the nights go by easier.” While some Soldiers may struggle conducting a 12-mile ruck march, Benedict is playing drums in his head, jamming out to his own tunes along the way.
He looks forward to opportunities that challenge his skills at the next level, to put himself in a better position to lead and train Soldiers. Benedict has aspirations of becoming a drill sergeant in the very near future of his military career and will also utilize his skills in his civilian vocation to finish college and become a firefighter in Oklahoma. Throughout his experiences he has looked up to his noncommissioned officer, Rossiter, for advice and guidance in excelling to the next level.
Rossiter has over 16 years of service as a military police officer and drill sergeant in the Army Reserve. When Rossiter is not training future Soldiers in the U.S. Army, he is patrolling the hallways as a high school principal. Rossiter serves as high school principal at Turner public schools in Burneyville, Oklahoma. He chose a career in the Army Reserve after serving four years on active duty because he wanted to continue to serve, while pursuing a career in education. He has spent years being a contributing factor to shaping the minds of young people and finds joy in it all, while being a father to his daughter, Emma. Even though he is a well decorated noncommissioned officer, he still looks for ways to compete and stay motivated.
“Achieving excellence is simply reaching your full potential. Competitions, like the Best Warrior, are a great way to push your mind and body to the limit,” says Rossiter. Rossiter continues to push himself and motivate others along his journey to be the best of the best, but doesn’t intend to stop there. He has aspirations of obtaining a doctorate from his alma mater, Oklahoma State University, and becoming a future command sergeant major of the 95th Training Division. Being a principal, Rossiter has a very intense schedule but still tries to find the time to prioritize preparation for upcoming events as looks forward to competing at the next level.
Calling him just a truck driver would be a complete understatement. Staff Sgt. Benjamin Parler is a resiliently motivated Soldier and family man. Parler was given an ultimatum early on in life from his father, “The three Es—enroll, enlist or eviction.” Early in his career he knew being evicted would not be an option for success in life and decided to enlist into the U.S. Army. Parler decided to follow the footsteps of his brother and become an airborne infantryman of the 82nd Airborne Division, conducting two combat tours in Afghanistan. Later he transitioned to the Army Reserve under the 95th Training Division as a drill sergeant. Parler is a hard worker who is inspired by his wife, Terri, and their four children Sareh, Benjamin, Eva and Elias.
He enjoys spending time with family in between being on the road driving trucks, training for military competitions and maintaining his proficiency in warrior tasks and drills. Parler is a contracted logistics specialist and truck driver for Sunbelt Rentals that transports construction equipment across the country. He is able to implement his training skills through his civilian occupation where he trains, operates and transports heavy machinery.
Parler will continue to push himself through his military career because he wants to see what he is capable of. He is capable of being the best of the best of the best in representing the 108th Training Command at the USARC BWC. Parler welcomes all new challenges and has high expectations for the rest of his military career.
The next time you hear the statement, a garage drum player, a truck driver and high school principal walk into a room, think of some of the Army’s best of the best of the best. Benedict, Rossiter and Parler will continue to excel in their military and civilian careers because of their determination and desire to challenge themselves and be the best Soldiers they can be. They tend to separate themselves from their peers because they are not only trying to obtain experience and knowledge to progress, but to train future Soldiers and provide leadership through the ranks.
After these competitions are over, this will not be the last time we hear their names . Leaders expect more great things from the best of the best of the 108th Training Command and it is safe to say, this will be an ongoing story for all three of them.