Oahu serves as host to MEDCOM’s ‘Best Warriors’

| March 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Jackson
18th Medical Deployment Support Command Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER — Primed from numerous noncommissioned officer and Soldier competitions earlier in the year, 20 of the Army Medical Command’s best of the best looked forward to claiming the title of “Best Warrior” for 2010 in a competition held March 13-19 on Oahu.

Staff Sgt. Adam Sahlberg, noncommissioned officer in charge at the Mary E. Walker Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., took honors as the Army Medical Command’s 2010 NCO Best Warrior.

Spc. John Evans, an X-ray technician at Munson Army Health Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., was recognized as Best Warrior Soldier.

Both represented the Western Regional Medical Command.

Hosted by Pacific Regional Medical Command and held in Hawaii for the first time, the competition tested the Soldiers’ ability to withstand physically challenging events and still maintain the mental edge needed to perform effectively.

Soldiers from every major command under the Army Medical Department — the AMEDD Center and School, San Antonio, Texas; the medical commands for Europe, Western, Northern, Southern and Pacific regions; the public health, dental and veterinary commands; and the Medical Research and Material Command — bounced from Schofield Barracks to the Marine Corps Training Area at Bellows Beach, to the Tripler Army Medical Center gym, and finally, to Hickam Air Force Base for a dizzying array of events.

“The Soldiers competing are all so motivated,” said U.S. Army Medical Command’s Command Sgt. Maj. Althea Dixon. “They are out here with a winner’s heart, and they all understand that at the end of this week, only two Soldiers will be announced as MEDCOM’s Soldier and NCO of the Year, but they all know that they are all winners.”

The competition started with oral boards, March 14, when each Soldier faced an array of sergeants major alone, who barraged them with questions about their knowledge of the Army.

The candidates were awakened at 3 a.m., March 15,so they could take the Army physical fitness test. They donned 60 pounds of gear to hike six miles up and down Schofield Barracks’ Kolekole pass. Next, Soldiers participated in weapons firing at day and night rifle ranges. 

The competition continued throughout the week with soldiering at Schofield, reflexive firing with M-4s, and day and night urban orienteering using the Defense Advanced GPS system. 

March 17, the candidates were at Bellows Beach, where they participated through nearly four miles of lanes to test their proficiency with Army Warrior Tasks.

A combatives tournament at the Tripler gym, March 18, was followed by the “mystery event” at Hickam Air Force Base. A 100-meter kayak race was combined with a medical skills contest.

At the awards banquet, March 19, at Hickam Air Force Base, Sahlberg and Evans thanked other competitors, their chains of command and their support channels for encouragement, motivation and confidence.

“I think any one of these NCOs could have won this. It just happened to be my week,” said Sahlberg. “The camaraderie was incredible. We bonded and to our own disadvantage, because, without hesitation, we were helping each other throughout the competition.”

Sahlberg also thanked his wife and Jesus Christ, saying that without them, accomplishments like this wouldn’t be possible.

Evans thanked Sahlberg for mentoring him.

“He’s a pretty good NCO and he’s given me a lot of training up to this point,” Evans said.

The two had different opinions, however, on which event was the most difficult. Sahlberg found all events to be equally difficult, while Evans found the road march the toughest to conquer.“

Sahlberg and Evans will represent MEDCOM at Armywide NCO and Soldier of the Year competitions held later this year. 

Category: News

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