As COVID-19 continues to influence how the military conducts its daily activities, a wide variety of events have been affected.  As units attempt to keep traditions, observances and other annual staples alive, adhering to proper social distancing practices is crucial to protect the health of the force.

The 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command held their annual Best Warrior Competition May 12.  The BWC is an annual event which determines the best noncommissioned officer and junior enlisted Soldier across the ESC.  

Due to current operations constraints from COVID-19, this year’s competition consisted of a one-day virtual board.

Six junior enlisted and noncommissioned officers from 49th Transportation Battalion, 61st Quartermaster Battalion and the 1st Medical Brigade all participated via video from their respective unit conference rooms.     

The Soldiers went through a rigorous question and answer board from a possible 18 topics ranging from: Army Training, the Equal Opportunity and Sexual Harassment/Assault and Prevention programs and Army Leadership and Development, to name a few.

Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Garner, the 13th ESC senior enlisted advisor, spoke with the Soldiers before announcing the winners, and expressed how the experience would change the participants.

“Every one of you is a better Soldier than you would have been having not gone through this process,” Garner said.  “The skills you have learned, the knowledge you have obtained and the work you have put in to be here now has made you a better Soldier without doubt.”  

Spc. Brittany Basye, a native of Cabot, Arkansas, is a nutrition care specialist with the 627th Hospital Center, 10th Field Hospital.  Basye has been in the Army for three years and was chosen by her leadership to represent 1st Medical Bde. from Fort Carson.

“This was my fifth board,” Basye said.  “I think I was chosen by my unit because I represented myself well in my very first Soldier of the Month Board.  From there, I have been encouraged to continue to compete and push myself to my highest potential.”

As Basye found out she took top honors for the junior enlisted Soldiers, she shared an elbow-bump with her NCO, and was overcome with joy over the win.

“It honestly feels very surreal to win,” Basye said.  It’s confirmation that my hard work and dedication really paid off.  My confidence has grown so much and I believe in myself more than I ever thought I could. I can’t wait to become an NCO and push my Soldiers to their highest potential the way my leadership has pushed me.”

Sgt. Alyssa White is a native of an Allentown, Pennsylvania, and  a practical nurse specialist from the 214th Surgical Detachment, 131st Field Hospital at Fort Bliss.

White won the 1st Medical Bde. NCO of the Quarter Board to be chosen to compete in the BWC, and beat out the other NCOs for the honor of 13th ESC NCO of the year.

White was thankful for the team who supported her and helped motivate her to a win, and looked forward to advancing to the next round.

“It will motivate me to continue to build on the knowledge and skills I have,” White said.  I can also train others in what I have learned thus far so they too can succeed.”

Both Soldiers will now advance to compete in the III Corps BWC scheduled to take place June 22-26.