Army Reserve Command "Best Warriors"

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

Archive for September, 2009

Physical Fitness Test at 0500

Posted by geraldostlund on September 30, 2009

0500 – a little chilly, and definitely still dark. The Army Best Warrior competitors gathered on the PT field, under the careful watch of both the competition staff and a large crowd of AIT and BNCOC students who are attending classes here at Fort Lee. The crowd added to the already super-charged atmosphere.

Spc. Shiloh Becher a Reserve Soldier from the 416th Theater Engineer Command, Fargo N.D. prepares to perform the sit up event as part of the Army Physical Fitness Test for the Best Warrior Competition at Ft. Lee Va.  Becher, one of the oldest competitors, is trying to deliver a repeat performance for the Army Reserve as the Army Reserve won the Army wide contest last year.

Spc. Shiloh Becher a Reserve Soldier from the 416th Theater Engineer Command, Fargo N.D. prepares to perform the sit up event as part of the Army Physical Fitness Test for the Best Warrior Competition at Ft. Lee Va. Becher, one of the oldest competitors, is trying to deliver a repeat performance for the Army Reserve as the Army Reserve won the Army wide contest last year.

Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler performs a sit-up during the Army Physical Fitness Test at the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition at Fort Lee, Va. on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. Butler is the Army Reserve NCO of the Year. (Timothy L. Hale/Army Reserve Public Affairs)
Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler performs a sit-up during the Army Physical Fitness Test at the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition at Fort Lee, Va. on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009. Butler is the Army Reserve NCO of the Year. (Timothy L. Hale/Army Reserve Public Affairs)
Best Warrior Competition FT. Lee Va.  SSG Arron Butler works the crowd during the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT).
Best Warrior Competition FT. Lee Va. SSG Aaron Butler works the crowd during the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT).

 Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler even worked the crowd DURING the two-mile run — and still finished at 12:30! He pushed out 68 pushups and crunched out 71 situps.

Spec. Shiloh Becher, one of the oldest competitors, finished with 54 pushups, 65 situps and a 12:50 two-mile. As he came across the line he shouted “Hey, I maxed out” with clearly a pleased, if tired, look on his face.

Watch the video of Becher’s APFT performance.

Check out all the photos on Flickr.

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Formal Boards – Done. Up Next – Pre-Combat Checks.

Posted by geraldostlund on September 29, 2009

Competitors completed the Command Sergeants Major board yesterday here at Fort Lee. Staff Sgt. Butler was done by 11:00, but Spec. Becher had to wait until late afternoon. Both felt they did well – Becher even came out of the board room with a huge smile — confidence, or relief? Probably both.

Spc. Shiloh Becher a Reserve Soldier from the 416th Theater Engineer Command, Fargo N.D. enthusiastically "knocks" on the door to the Soldier of the Year Board. The board is presided over by Sgt. Maj. of the Army, Kenneth O. Preston.  The annual competition brings the best of the Army Soldiers together from all branches of the Army for the week long competition.

Spc. Shiloh Becher a Reserve Soldier from the 416th Theater Engineer Command, Fargo N.D. enthusiastically "knocks" on the door to the Soldier of the Year Board. The board is presided over by Sgt. Maj. of the Army, Kenneth O. Preston. The annual competition brings the best of the Army Soldiers together from all branches of the Army for the week long competition.

Becher, who is the oldest of the candidates in the hunt for Army Best Warrior honors, joined the Army Reserve at 29 years old soon after September 11, 2001 – which happens to be his birthday.

 He had to get waivers at the time due to his age, but perseverance paid off. At the board yesterday, Becher had the opportunity to thank one of the key leaders who made his enlistment possible. When given the chance, Becher thanked Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston for “allowing me to join the Army at 29.”  Preston smiled. Watch Becher explain what he’d do if he “had more time to prepare” and “why I want to be Army’s Best Warrior.”

For his part, Butler said yesterday’s experience was “the best board” he’d been to. Of course, he followed that up with “but I’ve been through 12 this year.” Watch Butler talk about “if I had one more day to prepare” and “why I want to be Army’s Best Warrior.”

Both Soldiers are representing the Army Reserve in the competition and were selected by Army Reserve Command as the Soldier and NCO Best Warriors this past summer to represent the 210,000 Army Reserve Soldiers world-wide.

Today the competitors draw their equipment from the Central Issue Facility and perform Pre-Combat Checks. In addition, they will be conducting interviews with television, radio, newspaper, and bloggers across the nation and in their hometowns. Tomorrow – the lull ends with a full day starting at 0500 with the Army Physical Fitness Test followed by a written exam, daytime Urban Warfare Orienteering Course and finally night Urban Warfare Orienteering Course – which should end around 1 in the morning Thursday.

Keep the well wishes coming – send a note to our Army Reserve Best Warriors. Click the link below to go to their profile page and add a comment.
Spec. Shiloh Becher
Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler

CHECK OUT ALL THE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS AT THE ARMY RESERVE FLICKR PAGE.
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Can the Army Reserve Repeat with Butler and Becher?

Posted by geraldostlund on September 28, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009 – 9:00. Weeks of intense training, studying, physical fitness, mock boards and mental preparedness. Second guessing and “I wish I had more time to…” moments are gone. Competition starts today at Fort Lee, Virginia to determine who gets to claim the title of Best Warrior for the world’s greatest Army.
Army Reserve Best Warrior Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler is at Fort Lee, Virginia this week competing for Army's top honor.Army Reserve Best Warrior for 2009, Spec. Shiloh Becher is at Fort Lee, Virginia this week competing for Army's Best Warrior honors.
Army Reserve Best Warrior for 2009, Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler (L) and Spec. Shiloh Becher (R) and are at Fort Lee, Virginia this week competing for Army’s Best Warrior honors.

Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler and Spec. Shiloh Becher, representing the Army Reserve, are anxiously awaiting their chance to appear before the Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA) and other senior Command Sergeants Major. Many competitors over the years will tell you that this event is the most worrisome – what are they going to ask, what are they going to scrutinize on my uniform, how do I answer their questions with confidence, but without cockiness? Did I study enough?

Butler will go first, at 10:15. He’ll have 20 minutes in front of the highest ranking NCO in the Army. Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston has presided over this competition for six years. All Sergeants Major are a bit intimidating, but the SMA by default is the definition of intimidating for a Soldier competing for Best Warrior honors.

Becher will appear this afternoon at 3:45. Having more time is both a blessing and a curse. A little more time allows you to review potential questions. But, with a little more time you can start second guessing yourself…and making yourself more nervous by the minute.

Only time will tell whether time is on his side, but as true professionals these Soldiers are ready and more than capable of repeating last year’s win for the Army Reserve.

Tomorrow – Pre-Combat Inspections. Wednesday, Army Physical Fitness Test, Urban Orienteering Day, and Urban Orienteering Night.

If you were here at Fort Lee, what advice would you give SSG Butler and SPC Becher?
Send them a note of encouragement…click on the links below to go to their biography pages and post a comment!
    Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler 
    Spec. Shiloh Becher

Learn more about the competition on the Army’s Best Warrior micro-site.

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Becher and Butler are Packing Their Bags; A Couple More Days the Competition Starts Anew

Posted by geraldostlund on September 25, 2009

After a week at home with their families, Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler and Spec. Shiloh Becher are starting to pack their gear, uniforms, and getting ready to say goodbye again to their families. The Army Best Warrior Competition starts Monday at Fort Lee, Virginia.  Another long week awaits, full of orienteering, weapons qualifications, APFT and of course some mystery events.

Check it all out starting Monday morning. Staff Sgt. Francisco Guttierez will be blogging all the events and we’ll be posting photos, videos and keeping you up to date on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. Check back with us and boost our two Best Warriors along to the finish.

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And even more weapons…

Posted by geraldostlund on September 16, 2009

Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler (left front), the Army Reseve NCO Best Warrior, and Spec. Shiloh Becher (right) practice land navigation skills at at Fort Hunter-Liggett recently. The pair are in California preparing for the 2009 Army Best Warrior Competition which starts September 28 at Fort Lee, Virginia.

Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler (left front), the Army Reseve NCO Best Warrior, and Spec. Shiloh Becher (right) practice land navigation skills at at Fort Hunter-Liggett recently. The pair are in California preparing for the 2009 Army Best Warrior Competition which starts September 28 at Fort Lee, Virginia.

Staff Sgt. Butler and Spec. Becher near the end of their time at Fort Hunter-Liggett, California. They’ve been there, training for the Army Best Warrior Competition, since late August.

Two more days, and they go home to see their families.

Weapons trianing has been ‘omnipresent’ during the training, with lots of Primary Marksmanship Instruction, range firing, countersniper exercises, MOUT sites (Military Operations in Urban Terrain), and more.

Add in a LOT of ruck marches – one Tusday for 5  miles with more than 100 pounds of gear and one today for 7 miles.  Yes, these guys have done more in the last few weeks than most do in a year.

Butler says that one of the best events was “clearing rooms” – a shoot house was rigged with cameras, opposing forces (OPFOR), and lots of obstacles and traps. Becher and Butler had weapons loaded with special rubber bullets, as did the OPFOR. The two had to shoot, clear, and hold rooms. Butler got shot in the knuckle from an OPFOR bullet – and will probably remember the sting for a long while.

Check out the other photos at www.flickr.com/photos/myarmyreserve. Check back here starting Monday, September 28th for event by event coverage of the Army Reserve Best Warriors competing with their Active and National Guard colleagues for the title of Army Best Warrior.

Good luck guys!

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Weapons, Weapons and More Weapons

Posted by geraldostlund on September 8, 2009

3721800840_afaf062207M4, M9, M240B, M2 50 Cal, M249, M203, Mark 19…clean them, put them back together, learn the characteristics, zero and qualify. Repeat.

Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler and Spc. Cody Becher under the tuteledge of some of the Army’s best Master Gunners have been working day and night on their weapons skills at Fort Hunter-Liggett, Calif. The pair, and their alternates, have been at the remote post preparing for the Army Best Warrior Competition later this month.

In addition to weapons training, the two have been “hitting the books” and doing a lot of PT (physical training). According to Butler, time has been well spent, and the instructors at Hunter-Liggett have been “superb.”

Check back for more updates from Butler and Becher. The Department of the Army competition starts in less than three weeks!

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