Best Warrior competitors are recognized for Pacific Region

| April 14, 2017 | 0 Comments
WAHIAWA, Hawaii — From left, Sgt. Justin Thompson, Staff Sgt. Theodore Wills, Spc. Manuel Martinez and Staff Sgt. Michael Holbein prepare to go before the board during the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's Pacific Region Best Warrior Competition March 26-29 in Wahiawa, Hawaii.

WAHIAWA, Hawaii — From left, Sgt. Justin Thompson, Staff Sgt. Theodore Wills, Spc. Manuel Martinez and Staff Sgt. Michael Holbein prepare to go before the board during the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command’s Pacific Region Best Warrior Competition March 26-29 in Wahiawa, Hawaii.

Story and photos by
Dottie White
U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command

WAHIAWA, Hawaii — Staff Sgt. Theodore Wills, Regional Satellite Communications Support Center, performs push-ups for the Army Physical Fitness Test during the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's Pacific Region Best Warrior Competition March 26-29 in Wahiawa, Hawaii.

WAHIAWA, Hawaii — Staff Sgt. Theodore Wills, Regional Satellite Communications Support Center, performs push-ups for the Army Physical Fitness Test during the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command’s Pacific Region Best Warrior Competition March 26-29 in Wahiawa, Hawaii.

WAHIAWA — The Pacific Region of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command’s Best Warrior Competition took place March 26-29, and the winners are preparing to face off in the command-level event, May 8-12, in Colorado Springs.

Sgt. Justin Thompson and Spc. Manuel Martinez, both with D Company, 53rd Signal Battalion, were named the Pacific Region winners.

WAHIAWA, Hawaii — Spc. Manuel Martinez, Delta Company, 53rd Signal Battalion, approaches the finish line as Spc. Kendrick Leinwebber tracks his time for a 12-mile ruck march with a 45-pound weight minimum during the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's Pacific Region Best Warrior Competition March 26-29 in Wahiawa, Hawaii. Martinez was named the Pacific Region's Soldier Best Warrior.

WAHIAWA, Hawaii — Spc. Manuel Martinez, Delta Company, 53rd Signal Battalion, approaches the finish line as Spc. Kendrick Leinwebber tracks his time for a 12-mile ruck march with a 45-pound weight minimum during the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command’s Pacific Region Best Warrior Competition March 26-29 in Wahiawa, Hawaii. Martinez was named the Pacific Region’s Soldier Best Warrior.

The competition included three noncommissioned officers: Staff Sgt. Michael Holbein, Staff Sgt. Theodore Wills, and Thompson, plus one Soldier, Martinez, competing in these areas – an Army Physical Fitness Test, weapons qualification, a written test and essay, a 12-mile ruck march, Army warrior tasks, day land navigation, night land navigation and a board.

“The most challenging part of the competition was the 12-mile ruck march,” said Martinez, an East Moline, Illinois, native. “It took a lot of willpower to finish.”

In preparation for the command-level Best Warrior Competition, Martinez said he plans to work on his knowledge and fitness to proudly represent himself and his company.

“I plan on doing several mock boards with my squad,” Martinez said. “I also plan on focusing a lot of time on PT and ruck marching since the altitude is much higher in Colorado making breathing more difficult.”

Martinez said he enjoys competing and encourages others to do the same.

WAHIAWA, Hawaii — Sgt. Justin Thompson, Delta Company, 53rd Signal Battalion, checks his compass for the land navigation course during the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's Pacific Region Best Warrior Competition March 26-29 in Wahiawa, Hawaii. Thompson was named the Pacific Region's Noncommissioned Officer Best Warrior.

WAHIAWA, Hawaii — Sgt. Justin Thompson, Delta Company, 53rd Signal Battalion, checks his compass for the land navigation course during the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command’s Pacific Region Best Warrior Competition March 26-29 in Wahiawa, Hawaii. Thompson was named the Pacific Region’s Noncommissioned Officer Best Warrior.

“For junior enlisted Soldiers, I encourage you to participate in competitions, whether it be the BWC or a company board,” said Martinez. “It will put your name out there, show your potential as a Soldier and leader, and inspire others to follow in your footsteps. It’s not easy, but stepping out of your comfort zone can lead you to achieve great things.”

Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Sutherland, 1st Space Brigade senior enlisted adviser, agrees that competing is good for Soldiers.

“I view life as a competition, and Soldiers always want to compete to be the best,” said Sutherland. “This competition allows them not only to compete against the best across SMDC, but to unleash those Warrior skills that they may not practice or use on a regular basis. It’s getting back to a Warrior mind set at the highest level.

“Every year, our competitors get better and better with the bar being raised with that true Warrior spirit,” said Sutherland. “We were represented well last year, and I believe all the competitors are taking those lessons and applying them this year. It’s going to make for a great overall competition in May.”

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