Army Reserve Command "Best Warriors"

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

Over the Hump – Half way point in the competition and only 28 remain.

Posted by geraldostlund on July 28, 2010

Sgt. 1st Class Martin J. Rodriguez, a military policeman and 2010 Army Reserve Best Warrior competitor from Pueblo, Colo., assigned to 1st Battalion, 104th Regiment, gets his feet taped after finishing the land navigation course at Fort McCoy, Wis., July 27, 2010. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Burrell, Army Reserve Public Affairs)

Sgt. 1st Class Martin J. Rodriguez, a military policeman and 2010 Army Reserve Best Warrior competitor from Pueblo, Colo., assigned to 1st Battalion, 104th Regiment, gets his feet taped after finishing the land navigation course at Fort McCoy, Wis., July 27, 2010. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Burrell, Army Reserve Public Affairs)

It’s Wednesday morning and half of the 2010 Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition is completed.  Twenty-eight of the original competitors are pushing themselves to be “the one”.  Already done are the board appearance, the fitness test, written essay, day and night land navigation, and 10K road march (see all the photos and videos on Flickr or DVIDS; follow along on Facebook or Twitter).  Still to come are day and night weapons qualification, two mystery events and a double-elimination Army combatives tournament.

Watch the awards banquet and Best Warrior announcement LIVE Friday night on our webcast from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. CENTRAL time. Click the “Upcoming Live Webcasts” icon on the bottom right.

The heat, humidity and long hours have tested the endurance and focus of each of these Army Reserve Soldiers.  You can see it in their gaze:  they are either steely-eyed or filled with that distant stare.   And, you can also see it in their gait: some are favoring a left or right leg (or wearing bandages hidden under their uniforms) to keep from aggravating blisters or sore muscles. 

After making it this far, none of them seem to mind the pain and discomfort.  They talk about “going the distance” to proudly represent their units, their command and their fellow Soldiers. 

The event cadre and medical team see all this, too, and they constantly check on the fitness of each competitor.  They are ready to pull one to the side for a quick check, but they know that each of these Soldiers has it within to press on.  

The event planners know what these Soldiers are facing – most of them have been in the same position as previous competitors in this type of contest.  They motivate the competitors with something to raise their spirits each day – like the mints on their bed the day they arrived, the steak and lobster dinner last night, and the sight of Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Schultz, the Army Reserve’s top NCO, leading the road march this morning.  Tomorrow’s motivation will likely be the knowledge that it is the last full day of competition – and only the awards banquet will remain, a day of anticipation and high hopes.

Yes, there will be only one Junior Enlisted and one NCO winner on Friday evening, but as 1SG Blaine Huston, the event NCOIC, says often: “Each of these competitors is already a champion for coming this far.”

Read some of the news articles and watch some of the TV coverage so far:LaCrosse Tribune

http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/article_ff6bd6c6-99f9-11df-8cdb-001cc4c002e0.html

Channel 8 – WKBT

http://video.wkbt.com/watch.php?id=15660

Channel 19 – WXOW

http://www.wxow.com/Global/category.asp?C=136118&nav=menu1366_6

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