Army Reserve Command "Best Warriors"

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

Archive for July, 2009

A deeper look into Best Warrior from two of the competitors…

Posted by armypao75 on July 24, 2009

Army Reserve Soldiers Compete to be the "Best Warrior."

Army Reserve Soldiers Compete to be the "Best Warrior."

Who will be the Best Warrior?

That question loomed over an impressively strong field of 26 of the sharpest warfighters the Army Reserve had to offer during its annual Best Warrior Competition, a four-day battle of minds, brute strength, and guts that sought to establish one Soldier and one noncommissioned officer as the best Citizen/Soldier around, bar none.

Click to read the full story … how do you think YOU would have fared at Best Warrior?

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Staff Sgt. Aaron D. Butler and Spec. Shiloh Becher Named Best Warriors

Posted by geraldostlund on July 18, 2009

Fort McCoy, Wisconsin
July 17, 2009

The Army Reserve named Staff Sgt. Aaron D. Butler, 4225th Medical Hospital in Helena, Mont., and Spec. Shiloh Becher, 461st Engineer Company, Fargo, N.D., Best Warriors for 2009. The two were chosen NCO and Soldier of the Year for the Army Reserve after a gueling week-long competition against 28 other competitors.

Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler, left, and Spc. Shiloh Becher, were named the 2009 Army Reserve NCO and Soldier of the Year Best Warriors at an awards ceremony near Fort McCoy, Wis. on Friday, July 17, 2009. Butler and Becher will represent the Army Reserve Command at the 2009 Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition to be held at Fort Lee, Va., Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2009.

Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler, left, and Spc. Shiloh Becher, were named the 2009 Army Reserve NCO and Soldier of the Year Best Warriors at an awards ceremony near Fort McCoy, Wis. on Friday, July 17, 2009. Butler and Becher will represent the Army Reserve Command at the 2009 Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition to be held at Fort Lee, Va., Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2009.

Read Staff Sgt. Butler’s biography.
Read Spec. Becher’s biography.
Who where the competitors? What were the events in the Best Warrior Competition?

Photos and videos of the Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition and both Staff Sgt. Butler and Spec. Becher as they competed can be found on the official Army Reserve Flickr page.

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Combatives Tournament

Posted by geraldostlund on July 17, 2009

    Lastnight the combatives tournament took place.  The competitors faced each other in grueling matches that lasted three minutes each.  Three minutes doesn’t sound like much time but to the fighters in it, exhausted by all of the events that took place earlier this week, it was a long time. The winners of each match moved up the ranks and the fights only got harder. 

   In the end two fighters were left standing. One NCO and one Soldier, SSG Ashley and SPC Thomas. They faced each other in the final match.  The last match was a five minute elimination match for bragging rights as the Army Reserves Best Combatives Fighter. 

  The fight was intense as each one of them took dominant positions over and over on the ground.  The match lasted almost the full five minutes. But at the end SPC Thomas proved to be best.

  In the end the competitors congratulated one another as the Best Warrior Competition came to an end.  Tonight two of them will be named The 2009 Non-Commissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year.

 SSG Francisco Gutierrez

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Check out the photos on Flickr, Videos on Vimeo, and Audio on the Army Reserve site 

To see Video or Photos of your favorite competitor, click their name below:

Antolik      Arcilla     Ashley     Becher     Brunet     Butler     Carroll     Crumbacker     Eisner       Foster     

Harp    Heideman     Hill     Kime        Kovats     Lowe     Ludwig     McBride     Patnode      Peiler      Skelton    

Schultz     Thomas     Thompson     Tran     Zimmerman

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Only a matter of hours? Who will be named Best Warrior?

Posted by geraldostlund on July 17, 2009

Find out as the announcement is being made. We’ll post the winners here within minutes of the announcement. Also, follow us on Twitter and we’ll “tweet” the names of the winners as the Chief Army Reserve and CSM Army Reserve make the announcements – www.twitter.com/myarmyreserve. The announcements should be made between 1800 (6:00 p.m.) and 1830 (6:30 p.m.) Central time at the American Legion in Sparta, Wisconsin (just outside Fort McCoy).

Who will it be?
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Check out the photos on Flickr, Videos on Vimeo, and Audio on the Army Reserve site 

To see Video or Photos of your favorite competitor, click their name below:

Antolik      Arcilla     Ashley     Becher     Brunet     Butler     Carroll     Crumbacker     Eisner       Foster     

Harp    Heideman     Hill     Kime        Kovats     Lowe     Ludwig     McBride     Patnode      Peiler      Skelton    

Schultz     Thomas     Thompson     Tran     Zimmerman

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Every one for themselves

Posted by geraldostlund on July 16, 2009

Every one for themselves

     The past three days the competitors went through very tough events.  But at the end of each event they pulled together motivating, and pushing each other forward.  Today it’s a whole different story. The competition looks very close, and they know it.  Now it’s every soldier for him or herself coming up to the mystery event and the combatives tournament.

   The mystery event consists of calling support fire on an objective, weapons assembly, vehicle and detainee operations, administering an I.V., and preventive maintenance checks and services on a military vehicle.  These tasks are highly used in combat, and the competitors performed each one step by step and by the numbers. No one is taking it easy on these events. There is no room for mistakes.  To all of them the surprise and stress kicked in when they saw a box full of different weapon parts, and they only had ten minutes to put them back together.  

(Competitors at the mystery event: SSG Ashley, PFC Peiler, SGT McBride/SGT McBride 2, SGT Zimmerman, SPC Eisner, SFC Kime,SPC BeacherSSG Butler/SSG Butler2, PFC Antolik)

   Combatives is a type of mixed martial arts picked up from the US Army a few years ago, only to be used in close quarter combat against the enemy as a last resort.  The competitors will face each other until there are only two left.  One Non-Commissioned Officer and one Soldier.  Last year’s competition, in the NCO category was so close that the winner was chosen by whoever won the combatives tournament.  This year it looks to be the same.

SSG Francisco Gutierrez
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Check out the photos on Flickr, Videos on Vimeo, and Audio on the Army Reserve site 

To see Video or Photos of your favorite competitor, click their name below:

Antolik      Arcilla     Ashley     Becher     Brunet     Butler     Carroll     Crumbacker     Eisner       Foster     

Harp    Heideman     Hill     Kime        Kovats     Lowe     Ludwig     McBride     Patnode      Peiler      Skelton    

Schultz     Thomas     Thompson     Tran     Zimmerman

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The Toughest Day…

Posted by geraldostlund on July 15, 2009

The toughest day…

  Today the competitors went through, what I believe is, the toughest day of the competition.  They woke up at 4:30 a.m. to get their equipment ready, load the bus and be transported to the starting point of the 10k road march.  They stepped off at 6 a.m. with their body’s sore, legs cramping, and blistered bloody feet.  After walking more than ten miles total yesterday with all that weight on them, they weren’t looking forward to this morning’s foot march. But it has to be done to earn the title Non-Commissioned/Soldier of The Year.

  It wasn’t an easy task, as they soon found out, walking up and down the hills of Ft McCoy.  I remember one steep hill in particular last year. After getting to the top of the hill my legs curled up cramping and I felt I was done at that point.  These competitors, I could tell were feeling the same. But they kept moving. (SPC Ludwig and SSG Hill making it to the to of the steep hill)Spc. Jeffrey-Tyler Eisner, from Poughquag, N.Y. representing USACAPOC, rests after the ruck march during the 2009 Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy, Wis., July 15, 2009.

   The first soldier crossed the finish line at one hour and thirty five minutes.  After that the rest of them followed in at an average of one hour and fifty minutes. (SPC Ludwig after crossing the finish line).

Spc. Jeffrey-Tyler Eisner, from Poughquag, N.Y. representing USACAPOC, rests after the ruck march during the 2009 Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy, Wis., July 15, 2009.

   After the road march they sat down to have a box lunch for breakfast, and some of them were going over the warrior tasks and battle drills, which is the next event after weapons qualification (day). In the weapons qualification, the soldiers will fire at targets up to 300 meters away. Some of the warrior tasks and battle drills, they will be graded on, consist of several weapon disassembly and assembly, throwing hand grenades, radio communication skills, combat first aid, and improvised explosive device situations. All these tasks and drills are being performed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Soon after completing these events they will move on to weapons qualification (night).  All this in one day, ending at midnight.  Like I said, the toughest, and forgot to mention the longest, day of the competition.

 

SSG Francisco Gutierrez

Check out the photos on Flickr, Videos on Vimeo, and Audio on the Army Reserve site.

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Urban Orienteering continues

Posted by geraldostlund on July 15, 2009

Urban Orienteering continues… 

   After taking a short break from the morning events, the competitors returned to Ft McCoy’s parade field for the start of Night Urban Orienteering.  Even with their feet swollen and blistered up, some of the soldiers found time to laugh and make jokes to keep their morale up.  (SSG Travis Hill jokes before star of tonight’s event)

  The event started at 9 p.m. and is a little shorter than the Day Urban Orienteering, but harder to navigate since Ft McCoy is not very well lit at night.  Most competitors huddled around the only light available, by the start line, to plot their first point.  One thing on their minds, like it was for me last year, is finishing as fast as possible to try to more rest before the 10 kilometer road march, early tomorrow morning. (SPC Thomas using the only light available to plot his points) 

  With only three points to find, it wasn’t long before the first soldier was spotted, by a chemlight, heading towards the finish line.  The platoon sergeants checked the competitor’s equipment, to insure they had everything they started with, before sending them to rest area. (SPC Shultz gets his weapon inspecte)  (SPC Thomas and SSG Hill use chemlights to mark themselves at night)

  Tomorrow will be another early day as they step off at 6 a.m. for the 10k road march. 

 

SSG Francisco Gutierrez

 

Check out the photos on Flickr, Videos on Vimeo, and Audio on the Army Reserve site.

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The physical part of the competition begins.

Posted by geraldostlund on July 14, 2009

   Day two, the competitors are woken up at 4 a.m. for the Army Physical Fitness Test, which consists of timed push-ups, sit-ups and a two mile run. Like last year, most of them were already stretching, before the lights were turned on for wake up, eager to get started on today’s physical events.

   They received their instructions from the Warrior Leader Course cadre, and the first event of the APFT, push–ups, started at 5 a.m. Pfc. Peiler knocked out thirty in the first thirty seconds of the two minute timed event. With his arms shaky he pushed out his last ten of his 71 total as time ran out. Almost all of the competitors scored over 270 points out of a maximum allowed score of 300 on the APFT. They had a boxed lunch for breakfast at the Physical Fitness field while they spoke with their sponsors, and went over their results and scores. ( PFC Peiler’s push-up event)

    At 10 a.m. they started their Urban Orienteering event which spanned out to over six miles. I met up with SSG Elizabeth Carroll, after she found her second point, carrying an average of 75 lbs of equipment, and asked how she felt and how her feet were holding up. She said she was having fun. (SSG Carroll on the Urban Orienteering event)

   The first competitor came through the finish line, finding all his points, under 2 hrs. After they finished they sat on the bleachers, at the finish line, and took their boots off as the medics checked their feet for blisters. After going through the same thing last year, my shoulders and feet were aching from carrying all that weight. It was no different this year for these soldiers. Most of them took their boots off and found blood soaking through their socks and huge blisters on their heels. A few of them, like SSG Crumbacker, crossed the finish with mud up to their knees. They took the most direct route to their points going through mud filled creeks. (SSG Crumbacker feeling great after Urban Orienteering)

   The competitors will have very few hours to rest and tape up their feet before they start the Night Urban Orienteering event. And after what they went through this morning, I know by experience, it’s not going to be enough time, and it’s not going to get any easier. (SGT Brunett after 6 miles and 75 lbs of weight off his back)

SSG Francisco Gutierrez

Check out the photos on Flickr, Videos on Vimeo, and Audio on the Army Reserve site.

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Day 1. Board Appearance

Posted by geraldostlund on July 13, 2009

This morning, July 13, 2009, the competitors were woken up at 5 a.m. Some of them woke up earlier to put the finishing touches on their class A uniform.  They were shuttled to breakfast, where most of them studied while eating.  Some of them partnered up, asking each other questions from the Army Study Guide.  Then they were marched to the 88th RSC auditorium, and put in order of appearance for the oral board.

   Half of them, those who had their board times in the afternoon, were taken to a room for their written exam and essay.  The exam consisted of military knowledge questions that are taught and learned in Basic Training. The cadre gave three topics to write about for the essay. Two of the topics given, I remember, were “Leadership” and “what do the Army Values mean to you?”  After they finished their exam, they headed back to the auditorium, studying and waiting patiently for their name to be called for the board.

Before the board last year, I was really nervous, first of all knowing that I would be sitting in front of a table full of Sergeants Major. What questions they would ask? And, did I go over those questions on the study guide that they thought would be important to know? (watch SPC Brunet on video)

 Today, SGT Cody Brunet sat steady as his sponsor, SFC Lindenburg, wiped of the smudges off his insignias.  Some worked on their facing movements, for their entrance into the board room. 

SPC Christopher J. Ludwig felt more comfortable sitting by himself going over questions from his study guide.  Going through it last year, I sat with some of the competitors who I was deployed with or had worked with prior to the competition.  I felt that I had studied to much the days prior to the board, and the only way to calm my nerves was to talk to others about something other than the competition. (watch SPC Ludwig on video)

SSG Lucas Crumbacker sat confident and quietly with his sponsor, SFC Davis, knowing he was as ready as he could be. (watch SSG Crumbacker on video)  

  By 1100 a.m. half of the competitors had completed their first day events.  SSG Robert Ashley leaned back on a chair at the top of the auditorium, with a relieved look, after finishing his board appearance and tests.  After the board, last year, we were relieved and I thought to myself “It’s downhill from here.”  A lot of the competitors are better at the physical part of the competition, and are glad this day is over.

The tough days start tomorrow.  APFT at 0500. Followed by Urban Orienteering. Followed by Night Urban Orienteering with about 75 lbs of equipment on themselves.  Long day.

Frank

Check out the photos on Flickr, Videos on Vimeo, and Audio on the Army Reserve site.

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Staff Sgt. Crumbacker prepares for the board…

Posted by armypao75 on July 13, 2009

Staff Sgt. Lucas R. Crumbacker,B. Co., 392nd Signal BN, tobyhanna Army Penn.

Staff Sgt. Lucas R. Crumbacker,B. Co., 392nd Signal BN, tobyhanna Army Penn.

Staff Sgt. Lucas Crumbacker, a satellite communications operations chief with Bravo Company, 392nd Signal Battalion, 335th Theater Signal Command.  An Iraq veteran, Crumbacker is a native of Waynesboro, Penn., and was assigned to support the 56th Presidential Inauguration in January 2009.   Crumbacker also was the Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for his battalion.

Crumbacker was deployed to Iraq in 2004 –and intends to deploy again.

Crumbacker has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and International Business from The Pennsylvania State University.

Watch Crumbacker on Day One of Best Warrior Competition.

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