The 2019 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade’s 2nd Quarter Lightning Warrior Week competition pit seven competitors against one another, with an unfortunate early disqualification of one of the two noncommissioned officers, May 28-30. In the end, the 4th Battalion, 5th ADA Battalion Renegades swept the competition in all categories.
The first-place winners included 1st Lt. Michael Trainin, who won at the officer level, Sgt. Nathan O’Kelly won at the noncommissioned officer-level, and Spc. Brandon Cormier won at the Soldier level.
With the fastest run time and the only 300 score of the Army Physical Fitness Test, traditionally set as LWW’s first event each quarter, O’Kelly’s strategy was simple.
“We’ve got some good competition out here: just taking one event at a time and we’ll see what happens at the end,” O’Kelly said.
Despite the absence of an actual opponent, O’Kelly pushed himself to earn his second noncommissioned officer-level LWW trophy. The Renegade also finished among the final six competitors with the highest overall score – just eight points ahead of Cormier’s overall score of 98.
“The drive and motivation of all these competitors has been fantastic,” said Sgt. 1st Class Bethany Ryno, the LWW noncommissioned officer in charge, impressed with the high level of competition from each entrant.
“They’ve come out here and given their all for every single event,” Ryno said.
Beyond the APFT, competitors were scored on 10 additional events to include a land navigation course, a 12-mile ruck march, and an M-4 rifle stress shoot—which followed the ruck march. LWW officer in charge 1st Lt. Jennifer Wintering’s admiration for the quarterly competition comes in the form of gratitude towards the Soldiers’ efforts.
“I really appreciate being put into this position to see these competitors and how hard they work,” she said. “I appreciate getting to know them and seeing what goals they have; not only to be the best, to be the winner, but to accomplish their own personal goals.”