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Soldiers compete in Fort Hood’s BWC

Email   Print   Share By Sgt. Jordan Johnson, Sentinel Assistant Editor
June 13, 2013 | News
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Fort Hood NCOs navigate obstacles at the III Corps and Fort Hood Confidence Course during the 2013 Fort Hood NCO and Soldier Best Warrior Competition held throughout post June 5-Friday. The winners were announced Monday at III Corps Headquarters. Photo Illustration by Ila Stuart, Sentinel Graphic Designer; Photos by Sgt. Jordan Johnson, Sentinel Assistant Editor
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Competitors in the 2013 Fort Hood NCO and Soldier Best Warrior Competition take off from the starting line during the two-mile run portion of the APFT June 5. Sgt. Jordan Johnson, Sentinel Assistant Editor
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Sgt. Aaron Estes, squad leader, and Soldier representing 68th Engineer Company, displays Modern Army Combatives techniques during the combatives portion of the competition at Kieschnick Physical Fitness Center Friday. Sgt. Jordan Johnson, Sentinel Assistant Editor
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Staff Sgt. Waylon Wren, senior medic, HHB, 69th ADA, demonstrates his familiarization with an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon during the Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills portion of the competition at the 1st Cav. Div. South lawn June 6. Sgt. Jordan Johnson, Sentinel Assistant Editor
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The six Soldiers (front row), who competed for title of “Best Soldier,” and their sponsors present themselves to the board at the NCO Academy Conference room Friday. Sgt. Jordan Johnson, Sentinel Assistant Editor
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Staff Sgt. Mistie Sierra, senior support specialist, HHC, 89th MP Bde., rises after the Belly Crawl event at the III Corps and Fort Hood Confidence Course Friday. Sgt. Jordan Johnson, Sentinel Assistant Editor
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Sgt. Matthew Glick, fire support specialist, HHT, 21st Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat), reads his compass and studies his map during the land navigation competition at TA 202 June 6. Photo by Spc. Fred Brown, 1st BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
For three long, hot, grueling summer days, 13 Soldiers from the Great Place competed in the 2013 Fort Hood noncommissioned officer and Soldier Best Warrior Competition. The event was held throughout post June 5-Friday, and the winner was announced in the III Corps Headquarters’ Remagen Room during a brief ceremony Monday.

Throughout the competition, NCOs and junior-enlisted Soldiers were put to the test in a number of different scenarios, including taking an Army Physical Fitness Test, presenting themselves at a board, exhibiting their land navigation skills, demonstrating expertise in Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills, navigating an obstacle course and displaying their understanding of Modern Army Combatives.

The competition was fierce since all participants were among the best, said Staff Sgt. Waylon Wren, senior medic, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.

“I knew that the competitors I was competing against were all the top tier of their organizations,” Wren said. “When you are at this level, … the bell-shaped curve is real small up here. You’re the best in your brigade, I’m the best in my brigade, so let’s see what we have, and luckily I managed to get enough points to win.”

Wren, who was one of eight Soldiers competing for NCO of the Year, was announced the winner during Monday’s ceremony. He was thrilled to be named the winner.

“I’m excited I was able to win this competition,” Wren said. “It means a lot to my chain of command. It looks really good for the Soldiers who have worked with me and for me. You can achieve great things if you work hard.”

To not only participate in the competition, but to also win, Wren said he put a lot of work into his preparation.

“Studying, physical training, weapons – just reviewed everything,” Wren said. “Made sure I was proficient in all my WTBD. Made sure I could do the best I could.”

Some events, such as PT, are daily occurrences for Soldiers. Others, like studying for the board, occurs less often and was the most challenging event, said Spc. Alexis Estrada, artillery mechanic, 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division.

“There’s a lot to study,” Estrada, the winner of the junior-enlisted portion of the competition, said. “It gets overwhelming at times.”

One of the most nerve-wracking aspects of the board is walking into a room of senior-enlisted leaders. However, Estrada said previous experiences helped him prepare for the moment.

“It was full of sergeant majors for our division board as well, so that kind of helped me out,” Estrada said. “I didn’t just walk into a room full of sergeant majors for the first time. But, yeah, it could be intimidating.”

Even though Wren and Estrada were announced as first-place recipients in their categories, Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Parham, Sr., command sergeant major, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), wanted all participants to be proud of their accomplishments, Parham said.

“All of you represent the best.” Parham said. “It doesn’t matter how you got here. You are here, you competed, you started, you finished, and you gave your best. “

Before wrapping his speech up, Parham encouraged all participants to continue to do what brought them to the Remagen Room.

“You are the best representation of your organization to get here; best on Fort Hood,” Parham said. “It’s been an honor to let you know where you stand. Keep on studying, keep on sharing; that’s what it’s about.”
 
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