25th Infantry selects ‘Best Warriors’

| April 30, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photos by
Spc. Mahlet Tesfaye
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Six Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division tested their physical and mental capabilities in events that a Soldier must be able to do within garrison and combat environments, during the division’s Best Warrior Competition, held here, April 19-22. 

Sgt. Colin Whyte (top), a health care noncommissioned officer with 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, observes and reports enemy activity during the Best Warrior contest, April 22.“The best thing about this competition is the professional development you get as a Soldier and as a noncommissioned officer. It makes you a better Soldier and a better leader in the Army, and hopefully, you share your knowledge and experience with your Soldiers and leaders within your command,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Marrero, command sergeant major, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. 

Five men and one woman took part in the competition — three for best NCO, and three for best Soldier.

“I decided to participate in this competition for the challenge,” said Spc. Chelsea Schievenin, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 25th Special Troops Battalion, and a native of La Grange, Ky. 

According to Schievenin, Soldiers become better by challenging themselves and pushing their limits, and ultimately, gain self-satisfaction by overcoming those limits. 

On the first day of competition, Soldiers appeared in dress uniform before a board of command sergeants major and answered questions on topics including Army regulations, Army history, weapons, battle-    focused training, leadership and chain of command. They also presented a lay-out of all their gear for inspection.

“The hardest part for me was the board,” said Sgt. Matthew Girard, Co. C, 3rd BCT, and a native of Cambridge, Minn. “The physical challenge has not been difficult, and the lanes were relatively easy.” 

The following day, Soldiers took a standard Army Physical Fitness Test and a written exam. They also qualified with their M-4 rifle. 

Spc. Andy James, Company B, 27th Infantry Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, decontaminates his protective gear and face after a chemical attack during the division’s Best Warrior Competition at Area X, April 21. Over the next two days, Soldiers demonstrated their warrior task knowledge by performing in a stressful environment that simulated a combat zone. 

Three teams, each comprised of one sergeant and one specialist, represented 3rd Bde., 2nd Bde., and the Division STB. At the start of each day at division headquarters, each team received an order to proceed to a location on base. They ruck-marched from one area to another in “full battle-rattle,” carrying 40 to 50 pounds of gear and their weapon. 

When teams arrived at their destination, they performed a variety of tasks, including leading a patrol through an area that was reported to have enemy activity. 

During the patrol, Soldiers engaged an assailant with a bayonet. They also faced a chemical attack, during which they donned their protective masks and clothing, and then ruck-marched while wearing gear. 

“The hardest part of the competition for me was putting on the NBC gear. I was not expecting how hot it was going to be and how hard it was going to be, going through my tasks with the gear on,” Schievenin said. 

The competition also included a surprise mystery event. While helping wounded Soldiers, participants were attacked by a hostile enemy and were challenged to use their hand-to-hand combative skills to withstand the assault. 

“Before I started the competition, I was anxious to see what I was going to be doing. But now that I have done it, I love it,” said Sgt. Colin Whyte, a combat medic with Headquarters Service Battery, 2nd Bn., 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd BCT, and a native of Barkhamsted, Conn.

Participants also completed day and nighttime land navigation, qualified with the M4 rifle, and gave a media interview. 

“I knew I would be going up against top competitors from different fields and backgrounds, but I did my best and feel good about the competition,” said Spc. Rocky Vires, a sniper with 1st Bn., 14th Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, and a native of Scottsburg, Ind.  

At the awards ceremony, April 26, Whyte was selected as Best NCO, and Spc. Andy James, a grenadier with Co. B, 2nd Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT, and a native of Leopold, Ind., was selected Best Soldier. 

They will represent the 25th Infantry Division at the U.S. Army-Pacific’s Best Warrior Competition in June.

“I learned what kind of noncommissioned officer I am, and what kind of Soldier I am in terms of being able to identify myself under combat-stressful environments; my decision making process; being able to come to terms with fatigue, injury and pain; and just being able to push on through and get through it all,” said Whyte.

“I feel very proud and accomplished that I was able to win, and I get to go on and represent my division at USARPAC,” James said.

Category: News

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