Army Reserve Command "Best Warriors"

Dedicated to coverage of all Army Reserve "Best Warrior" candidates

Rider, McDowell complete Mystery Event, Combatives Tourney

Posted by timothyhalephoto on October 22, 2010

And the Winner Is … ?

Timothy L. Hale
Army Reserve Public Affairs

View Mystery Event Images

View Modern Army Combatives Tournament images

FORT LEE, Va. – Don’t think this entry is going to spill the beans on who the Soldier and NCO Best Warriors are for 2010. You’ll have to wait until this coming Monday to find out when the announcement is made in Washington, D.C. at the Sgt. Major of the Army luncheon at the AUSA Annual Convention.

That said, everyone associated with Sgt. David Rider and Spc. Joshua McDowell should be very proud of the way they represented not only themselves but the Army Reserve during this week’s competition.

It was not uncommon this week to hear many of the event cadre’ speak about both of them and the quality of the Soldiers they are.

It’s a Mystery

Today started like the last two days, in the dark as they were faced with a Mystery Event – a series of mini-scenarios designed to keep them moving and thinking without much time in between.

First an artillery barrage resulting in mass casualties, then it was on to protecting a polling center before coming under attack which led to a cordon and search operation, then on to a session in a marksmanship simulator followed by a series of male and female uniform inspections and finally ending up with a stress fire lane.

These events then culminated with a Modern Army Combatives tournament.

Double-Elimination

A new twist to this year’s tourney was to pair off the first round by weight class regardless of NCO or Soldier.

Rider, unfortunately, did not survive the first round and was knocked into the consolation bracket (more to come on that later).

Meanwhile, McDowell reeled off win after win until his sixth match which resulted in a loss in the semi-finals, knocking him to the consolation bracket.

In the meantime, Rider is fighting his way through his bracket and, yes, you saw this coming – Rider AND McDowell faced off against each other for fourth and fifth place overall. The match ended with Rider coming out on top. Rider finished with a 5-2 record and McDowell a 3.2 record in the tournament.

An Incredible Experience

At the end of the day, both young men said the Army Best Warrior experience was an incredible experience for them.

“I just tried to make through each event and see how I stacked up at the end,” McDowell said. “I learned so much here and feel like I have developed a bond with the other Warriors this week.”

He said one of the high points was being able to lead a team of Soldiers through different events since he doesn’t get many opportunities to do so.

“I learned to lead with confidence and to lead my Soldiers through each event. It was actually great to forget out the points and just go through each event with them.”

For Rider, the biggest accomplishment he said he felt was the “pride in the way I conducted myself this week, whether I win or lose.”

Some of his take-aways from this week was learning to motivate his squad of Soldiers and to train hard to prepare for not just competitions but any mission.

“If you train well ahead of time, you will reap the rewards later.”

No matter the outcome this coming Monday, Sgt. Rider and Spc. McDowell are definitely winners!

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Rider, McDowell send hot lead downrange

Posted by timothyhalephoto on October 22, 2010

Timothy L. Hale
Army Reserve Public Affairs


View images from M4 Rifle Night Qualification

FORT LEE, Va. – After a day that saw the competition start and end in darkness for Army Reserve Sgt. David Rider and Spc. McDowell, the only have one day left to get through before the 2010 Army Best Warrior competition is over.

Tonight, the pair engaged a number of targets during the M4 Rifle Night Qualification range.

A cool breeze blew towards the Warriors as parachute flares streaked into the dark skies. Artillery simulators flashed at various distances across the landscape often turning night into day with their bright white flash.

Tomorrow, they will complete the competition phase for this year with a Mystery Event. Don’t ask, it’s even a mystery to this writer.

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Rider, McDowell Press on through Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills

Posted by timothyhalephoto on October 21, 2010

Timothy L. Hale
Army Reserve Public Affairs

View Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills Images (Editor’s Note:  some images my be too graphic for small children)

FORT LEE, Va. – An early morning wake-up greeted Sgt. David Rider and Spc. Joshua McDowell and the other 22 Army Best Warrior candidates as they set out for a series of events comprised of Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills.

There were a number of lanes to include:  Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT), convoy simulators, IED lane, 9mm lane and a medical trauma lane.

This afternoon and again this evening, Rider and McDowell put their marksmanship skills to the test with a day and night M4 rifle qualification.

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McDowell ‘Skunks’ Competition, Rider has Top 4 Finish

Posted by timothyhalephoto on October 21, 2010

Timothy L. Hale
Army Reserve Public Affairs

View images from Night Urban Orienteering

FORT LEE, Va. – Don’t let the headline fool you – Spc. Joshua McDowell and Sgt. David Rider had fantastic finish times during the Army Best Warrior Competition Night Urban Warfighter Orienteering Course.

The reference to the black and singularly wide white striped mammal is because McDowell encountered what could be considered an early Mystery Task – negotiating around a skunk on the last of his four check points.

But have no fear, McDowell took care of the business at hand while his lane safety walker shared glances with the furry critter keeping it a safe distance away.

McDowell was the first of the 24 Warriors to cross the finish line finding all four points in just over 40 minutes. The next closest junior enlisted Soldier came in around the 1:24 mark on the clock.

His Army Reserve battle buddy, Rider, came in fourth overall with 1:09 showing on the clock and he was the third NCO to cross the line.

The Warriors had 3.5 hours to find four points scattered across the main post.

Tomorrow will be an even longer day as Rider and McDowell will start the day at 0600 hrs with Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills and then will be followed by a series of M4 rifle range qualification events.

(EDITOR’s NOTE: No skunks, Warriors or Lane Safety Walkers were harmed during the course of the event)

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Rider, McDowell slosh through Day Urban Orienteering at DA Best Warrior

Posted by timothyhalephoto on October 20, 2010

Timothy L. Hale
Army Reserve Public Affairs

View images from Day Urban Orienteering

FORT LEE, Va. – Almost as if it was on cue, the skies opened up just as Army Reserve Sgt. David Rider and Spc. Joshua McDowell arrived and the other 22 Army Best Warriors arrived at the PT track on the Ordnance Center and School side of Fort Lee for the start of the Daytime Urban Warfighter Orienteering Course.

But as the old saying in the Army goes, ‘If it ain’t raining, we ain’t training’ goes, both Rider and McDowell donned their ‘battle rattle, grabbed their clipboards, maps, plotters and DAGRS and set off on the roads around the post.

Their goal, find four strategically placed points and return to the start point before their three hour time limit was up.

Later this evening, they will again repeat the process for the Night Urban Orienteering Course.

Let’s hope for a little drier weather.

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Now the fun begins … Day 3 of Army Best Warrior Competition

Posted by timothyhalephoto on October 20, 2010

Timothy L. Hale
Army Reserve Public Affairs

View Images from PCC/PCI


FORT LEE, Va. – After Monday’s Board Appearance and Tuesday’s APFT along with the written exam and essay, the 2010 Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition is about to go full-bore tactical in less than one hour.

This morning was spent preparing their tactical gear with a PCC/PCI at the Post Field House.

Apologies for the short update but I have to get to the field for the Day Urban Warfighter Orienteering Course. The night course starts at 1800 today and runs until 2200.

Check back later this evening for more updates.

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Rider, McDowell complete APFT at Army’s Best Warrior Competition

Posted by timothyhalephoto on October 19, 2010

Timothy L. Hale
Army Reserve Public Affairs

View images from today’s APFT

FORT LEE, Va. – Sgt. David Rider and Spc. Joshua McDowell completed the Army Physical Fitness Test phase of the 2010 Army Best Warrior Competition this morning.

As the fog hovered over Williams Stadium, bringing with it cooler temperatures, the action on the track heated up as Rider, McDowell and the other 22 NCOs and junior enlisted Soldiers were greeted with cheers and the ‘Wave’ around the stadium.

While both competitors said they felt they did well on the each phase of the test, they said the cheering crowds really helped to raise their enthusiasm.

“It was the most motivating PT test I’ve ever taken,” McDowell said afterwards.

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McDowell completes CSM Board appearance at DA Best Warrior Competition

Posted by timothyhalephoto on October 18, 2010

Timothy L. Hale
Army Reserve Public Affairs

View images from Day 1 Board Appearance

FORT LEE, Va. – Spc. Joshua McDowell, the Army Reserve Soldier of the Year, completed his board appearance this afternoon before a panel of Command Sgts. Majors during day one of the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition.

While somewhat nervous before entering the board room, McDowell said afterwards that he felt confident during his time in the room.

“It’s nice to get through the first event and start preparing for the rest which I’m sure will be more physical and demanding,” McDowell said.

While McDowell said he felt answered two-thirds of the questions correctly, he said there were some surprises.

“There were a couple that surprised me … but for the most part, though they may have changed them around a little or different from what I’ve heard in the past, I’m familiar with the knowledge.”

It’s early to be tonight as both McDowell and his NCO counterpart, Sgt. David Rider, prepare for tomorrow’s schedule.

An early wake-up awaits the pair as the head out for the Army Physical Fitness Test consisting of timed sit-ups, push-ups and 2-mile run. Then it’s on to the written exam and essay.

The pace will slow down a little tomorrow afternoon when hometown and local-area media will have an opportunity to meet all 24 Warriors (12 NCOs and 12 Soldiers) during a media event.

Check back tomorrow for more updates.

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Rider, McDowell tackle day one of the Army’s Best Warrior Competition

Posted by timothyhalephoto on October 18, 2010

Timothy L. Hale
Army Reserve Public Affairs

View images from Day 1 Board Appearance

FORT LEE, Va. – Army Reserve Sgt. David Rider and Spc. Joshua McDowell had a good night sleep last night in preparation for this week’s Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition at Fort Lee, Va.

Today’s phase of the competition is an appearance board before a panel of Command Sgts. Majors chaired by Sgt. Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston.

Sgt. Rider appeared before the board at 11:18 a.m. After approximately 20 mins, he exited the room feeling somewhat relieved.

“Overall the performance was good as far as questions answered,” Rider said. “I hit my normal 70-80 percent questions correct which I feel like I do on just about every board.”

Spc. McDowell’s board appearance is this afternoon at 4:18 p.m. Check back this evening for photos and a wrap-up entry after his board.

EDITOR’s NOTE: Sgt. Rider, the Army Reserve NCO of the Year, is from the 807th MDSC. Spc. Rider, the Army Reserve Soldier of the Year, is from ARMEDCOM.


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Best Warriors ready to showcase tools next month

Posted by timothyhalephoto on September 28, 2010

 

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By Staff Sgt. Mark Burrell
210th MPAD

FORT DIX, N.J. – Sgt. David Rider quickly ducked into a dense thicket of thorns and bushes. Moving deceptively fast while wearing body armor and a helmet, he stopped for a moment to shout back to his trainer.

            “I’m going to poke my head in here real quick,” he s aid. “That other point is a little too far off to be confident about it.”

            Rider, a combat medic practical nurse and 2010 Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition winner, quickly disappeared back into the dense forests of Fort Dix, N.J., to continue searching for his points during a land navigation course.

            The 2010 Army Reserve Best Warriors, enlisted and noncommissioned officer, are spending a week at Fort Dix training for the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition. There they will be pitted against their National Guard and Active Duty counterparts in Fort Lee, Va.

            The four-day competition is slated for Oct. 17 to 22 and will consist of multiple events to determine the enlisted and NCO 2010 Best Warrior. The events cover a variety of warrior tasks such as rifle marksmanship, combatives, ruck marches, and any other physical and mental tests of endurance.

            “At the Department of the Army competition we don’t know what they’re going to be throwing at us,” said Rider, a native of Strongsville, Ohio, assigned to the 256th Combat Support Hospital. “It could be anything, so you have to be well-rehearsed and confident. That’s what we’ve been doing and that’s our mission here, just to get more experience and build confidence at every aspect of being a Soldier.”

            The Soldiers mostly receive instruction from Army Reserve drill sergeants attached to Regional Training Center – East. These drill sergeants are experts at warrior tasks and train deploying troops at Fort Dix year-round, instilling confidence in their basic Soldier skills.

            “Confidence is really important at that level [Department of the Army],” continued Rider. “When you’re wandering through the woods, you don’t want to be questioning if that’s your point or this is your point. You want to be confident.”

            Rider emerged from the thicket with sweat on his face and a penetrating glare.

            “This is the right point over here,” he stated. “I just wanted to make absolute sure before we headed back.”

            After finishing the course, Rider said that there are a lot of people supporting him and that he wants to prove to them that he’s up for any task the judges might throw at him.

            “A lot of people associate the Reserves as weekend warriors,” said Rider. “They show up one weekend a month, two weeks a year and play Army. But that’s not the case. We’re as tactical and technical as active duty Soldiers and can be called up at anytime.”

            Spc. Joshua McDowell, a health care specialist from Omaha, Neb., assigned to the 7246th Installation Medical Support Unit and the enlisted USAR winner, agreed with Rider.

            “I hope to portray the Army Reserves as having Soldiers with integrity, a good work ethic and a high level of competence and confidence,” McDowell said after completing the land navigation course shortly after Rider.

            “There’s a mix of excitement that can be palpable sometimes because everybody’s watching you and your mistakes are really highlighted in an event like this,” explained McDowell. “In order to survive in a situation like this, you really have to take it minutes at a time.”

            Since the results of the USAR competition last month, these warriors have been using each minute to prepare their minds and bodies for the upcoming challenges. So far, they have been training on weapons, combatives, prepping each other with general military knowledge questions and this day’s land navigation course.

            “As far as today’s course, it went well,” said McDowell. “There were definitely some obstacles and it was definitely a little thick in there. I think the course attacked me more than I attacked it. You just stick with the training and you use all the tools you have.”

            Though their roads to the 2010 Best Warrior competition have been filled with similar obstacles, these Soldiers have lowered their shoulders pushed through the bramble to continually surprise their competition.

            “I wonder sometimes. I don’t know if they know what’s coming to them,” said Rider with a crooked smile on his face. “I think they’re going to have a bunch of outstanding NCOs coming to compete. I don’t know if they realize they got the best of the Army Reserves still training super hard to come kick some butt out there.”

            After completing the land navigation course with hours to spare, these Soldiers hard training will be evident next month. They’re getting ready for the Department of the Army competition, but is the competition going to be ready for these Army Reserve Soldiers? The world will find out next Oct. 22 at Fort Lee.

Posted in Army Reserve, Best Warrior | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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