21st Signal Brigade 2019 Best Warrior Competition.
Three noncommissioned officers and four junior enlisted Soldiers fought for top honors in the four-day, multi-event competition that was designed to put their physical and mental endurance to the test.
Sgt. Quince Lanford and Pfc. Brendan Nunez, representing 55th Signal Company Combat Camera, Fort Meade; Ssg. Tzega Buluze, representing United States Army Support Activity, 302d Signal Battalion, Fort Meade; Spc. Jose Jimenez, representing United States Army Support Activity, 302d Signal Battalion, Fort Detrick; Sgt. Tyler DeSchryver, and Spc. Eric Nguyen, representing Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 114th Signal Battalion, Fort Detrick; and Spc. Sergo Dzamashvili, representing Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 21st Signal Brigade, Fort Detrick; all competed in the event. Each Soldier had won lower-level competitions before earning a spot to compete in the 2019 Competition.
"The competition gave the Soldiers the experience and knowledge needed to become better leaders," said Sgt. Maj. James Middleton, who was in charge of the Best Warrior Competition. "Everybody wants to be the best and this competition gives them that opportunity," Middleton said.
The events included the new Army Combat Fitness Test, soon to be implemented Army wide, the current Army Physical Fitness Test, weapons qualification, land navigation, Army knowledge written test, and a grueling 12-mile ruck march. Competitors also had to appear before a knowledge leadership evaluation board.
"The most difficult part was probably the ruck march at the end, because of all the heavy physical activities endured during the first two days," Dzamashvili said.
In addition to the steep terrain, all competitors had to carry a 35 pound load and complete the 12-mile ruck march in under 4-hours. Competing amongst themselves and against unfavorable environmental elements in order to win the title of 'Best Warrior' was every participating Soldiers' goal.
"I wanted to win because I wanted to prove myself that I could, and wanted to see how far I can push myself." Jimenez said. "I dedicated my performance to my second family at USASA--Detrick, and those who helped me train day after day for the events."
The winners were announced at an award ceremony at the end of the final day. Lanford and Jimenez earned top honors and were named the 21st Signal Brigade Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year, respectively. They both will go on to compete in the U.S. Army 7th Signal Command Theater Best Warrior Competition at Fort Gordon, Ga. If successful there, they will continue on to compete for a chance at being named the Army NCO of the Year and Army Soldier of the Year.
Sgt. Raul Pacheco
21st Signal Brigade Public Affairs
Caption: Soldiers competing in the 2019 Best Warrior Competition had to complete a 12-mile ruck march to close out the four days of events. Photo by Sgt. Raul Pacheco.
Caption: The 2019 Best Warrior Competition tested Soldiers on a variety of skills including marksmanship. Photo by Sgt. Raul Pacheco.
Caption: Land Navigation was another task of the 2019 Best Warrior Competition Photo by Sgt. Raul Pacheco.
Caption: The "drag and carry" was one of many tests of strength and endurance competitors underwent. Photo by Sgt. Raul Pacheco.