And the Winner Is … ?
Timothy L. Hale
Army Reserve Public Affairs
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.
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
“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.”
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!