‘Best of the best’ vie for 500th MI Best Warrior

| March 13, 2015 | 0 Comments
Competitors fire from the prone supported position during the M4 qualification range as part of the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade’s 2015 Best Warrior competition, held March 2-6, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.  The competition showcases and tests the Soldier’s technical and tactical proficiency. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs)

Competitors fire from the prone supported position during the M4 qualification range as part of the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade’s 2015 Best Warrior competition, held March 2-6, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. The competition showcases and tests the Soldier’s technical and tactical proficiency. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs)

Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins
500th Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Two “Vanguards” from the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade distinguished themselves from their peers during the brigade’s 2015 Best Warrior competition held, here, March 2-6.

Sgt. Eusebio Villamor Jr., assigned to Company A, 205th MI Battalion, and Spc. James K. Welch, assigned to Company D, 715th MI Bn., stood in front of a brigade formation as the victors of this year’s competition.

Senior leaders from the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade question competitors during a board for the 500th MI Bde.’s 2015 Best Warrior competition, held March 2-6, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs)

Senior leaders from the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade question competitors during a board for the 500th MI Bde.’s 2015 Best Warrior competition, held March 2-6, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs)

“If you could link something that we do in garrison to what we do in war, this would be it,” said Command Sgt. Maj. James M. Calder, senior enlisted adviser, 500th MI Bde., while speaking with the competitors at the event’s introduction brief. “This is a competition between the Soldiers to your left and your right to see who is number one.”

During the competition, Soldiers representing their company and battalion, were evaluated in 12 areas.

Day one started with an Army Physical Fitness Test conducted in the Army Combat Uniform and tennis shoes, followed by a grueling competition board where senior enlisted members from the brigade fired question after question at each of the competitors.

“The board was intense,” said Villamor. “The questions were rough and covered a variety of topics.”

Spc. James K. Welch, assigned to Company D, 715th MI Bn., performs a rear naked choke during the combatives portion of the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade’s 2015 Best Warrior competition, held March 2-6, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs)

Spc. James K. Welch, assigned to Company D, 715th MI Bn., performs a rear naked choke during the combatives portion of the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade’s 2015 Best Warrior competition, held March 2-6, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs)

Days two and three included the 20K foot march, warrior tasks and battle drills, Army combatives, a written essay, an exam and a mystery event.

According to Welch, the mystery event shocked the competitors. Each of them were taken one by one out of a room and placed into a scenario where a SHARP-related event was underway. The faster and more accurately the competitors reacted to the scenario, the shorter the event lasted.

An M4 qualification range and nighttime land navigation event were held on day four.

“Night time land navigation was the hardest event for me,” said Welch. “Walking around, even with good illumination, makes it hard to find your point and keep your bearing.”

Sgt. Eusebio Villamor Jr., assigned to Company A, 205th MI Battalion, poses for a photograph with Lt. Col. Maurice H. Floyd II, deputy commander, 500th MI Bde., during the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade’s 2015 Best Warrior competition, held March 2-6, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th MI Bde. Public Affairs)

Sgt. Eusebio Villamor Jr., assigned to Company A, 205th MI Battalion, poses for a photograph with Lt. Col. Maurice H. Floyd II, deputy commander, 500th MI Bde., during the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade’s 2015 Best Warrior competition, held March 2-6, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th MI Bde. Public Affairs)

The two winners maintained their bearing, and at the conclusion of the competition, walked away as the leaders of the pack.

“A lot of how well you do comes down to the support you have,” said Welch. “Having really good noncommissioned officers behind you makes the competition a lot easier.”

Now that the competition is over, the two winners must prepare for the next level competition.

“The next step for me is to keep studying and get ready for the Intelligence and Security Command board,” said Villamor. “It’s going to take hard work and dedication, along with long nights, to get ready for the next competition.”

Spc. James K. Welch, assigned to Company D, 715th MI Bn., poses for a photograph with Lt. Col. Maurice H. Floyd II, deputy commander, 500th MI Bde., during the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade’s 2015 Best Warrior competition, held March 2-6, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th MI Bde. Public Affairs)

Spc. James K. Welch, assigned to Company D, 715th MI Bn., poses for a photograph with Lt. Col. Maurice H. Floyd II, deputy commander, 500th MI Bde., during the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade’s 2015 Best Warrior competition, held March 2-6, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th MI Bde. Public Affairs)

“These soldiers have made it through their battalion level competitions, and this isn’t easy stuff,’ said Calder. “It means a lot that these Soldiers stepped up to compete. They have my respect.”

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