Noncommissioned officers and junior enlisted Soldiers from the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command competed in the Best Warrior Competition May 20-23.
This year’s competition included Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company 13th ESC, 1st Medical Brigade, 61st Quartermaster Battalion and 49th Movement Control Battalion.
The multi-day competition began differently than in previous years since the custom Army Physical Fitness Test was substituted with the upcoming Army Combat Fitness Test.
This was their first real taste of the new ACFT which involved deadlifts, a medicine ball throw, hand-release push-ups, a sprint and weighted sled drag, leg tuck on the pull-up bars and a 2-mile run.
After completing the grueling events leading up to the run, Pvt. Dwight Hall, 418th Transportation Company, still managed to finish the run first at just over 13 minutes and was definitely feeling the effects.
“Having to drag and pull the sled and also shuffle was tough,” Hall said. “Your legs feel like Jell-O, but I was able to push through and complete the run.”
Day one finished with the weapons lanes where the Soldiers fired both the M4 and M9 weapon systems before moving to the days final event, the communications lane.
Early the next morning, the Soldiers conducted an incline riddled, 12-mile ruck march, and each Soldier was scored on their ability to complete the ruck with the standard of three hours or less.
Day two continued with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear lanes, the air assault obstacle course, a 50-question test and ended with maintenance lanes where Soldiers had to change tires on tactical vehicles among other tasks.
On a strenuous day three, Soldiers navigated the Soldier readiness test lanes, which involved four flips of a 225-pound tire, 40 meters of agility drills and a 15 meter drag of a 240-pound simulated casualty.
From there, they moved to the pull-up bars where 10 40-pound sandbags were staged, and they had to toss each one over the 66-inch high bar, and then throw them back over once completed.
Finally, they had to pick-up 10 40-pound sandbags from the ground and stack them on a vehicle bed 36 inches from the ground.
Following the SRT lanes, the Soldiers competed in a combatives tournament, navigated medical lanes where they had to evaluate casualties, reacted to indirect fire, applied life-saving measures to a casualty and transported that casualty. The day ended with a night land navigation course.
The final day was the question and answer board and after that was completed and the scores were carefully tallied for all four days, Sgt. Tyler Poston from the 61st QM Bn. won for the noncommissioned officers and Pfc. Christopher Muiruri from 1st Med. Bde. won for the junior enlisted.
After the high-impact events over the last few days, taking home the top spot felt that much better.
“It felt great to win the best warrior,” Poston said. “I’m very proud to represent 61st and now 13th ESC.”
With the win, they will both compete in the III Corps BWC next month.
“I am honored to have been given the opportunity to represent 1st Med and I am looking forward to competing at the III Corps BWC,” Muiruri said.
Poston also looked forward to competing at next month’s BWC.
“I expect III Corps to test the competitors mentally and push us to our breaking point,” Poston expressed. “I feel I have an advantage after enduring the 13th ESC’s competition as it was pretty grueling.”
The 13th ESC G-3 Sergeant Major, Sgt. Maj. Thomas Fitzwater, has been involved with many competitions like these and applauded the efforts put forth by the Soldiers and everyone involved.
“This year’s competition was very rigorous,” Fitzwater said. “The competitors were constantly moving from one physical event to the next with no break, and did know what event was next or who was in the lead. This was done to ensure each competitor gave 100 percent at each event. We tried to ensure that we added events that test both the competitor’s mental agility and physical stamina. After seeing the competitors at the end of the competition, I believe we succeeded.”