Doubling Down: U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers compete for more than Best Warrior honors

By Sgt. Amber Sanders | 372nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment | June 12, 2018

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — This year, top performers in America’s Ready Reserve have a special opportunity to earn the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge while participating in the 2018 U.S. Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

This is the first time in the history of the BWC that the competitors have an incentive in addition to the Best Warrior title.

The GAFPB is one of the few foreign awards approved for wear on U.S. military uniforms. It is also one of the more prestigious awards that
service members of any rank can earn.

“This is one of many events that can be offered to Soldiers coming to this echelon that they might not normally get exposed to,” said Sgt. 1st Class Casey M. Martin, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the U.S. Army Reserve competition. “It’s OK to give them a little bling every now and then.”

A qualified German physical training instructor must administer the competition, which consists of a 1000-meter run; flex-arm hang; 11-by-10 meter shuttle sprints; the Army Physical Fitness Test; 100-meter swim in uniform; a first-aid evaluation; a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear procedures test; weapons qualification and a timed road
march.

Lt. Col. Markus Stobbe, the German liaison of the U.S. Army Reserve Command and qualified German physical training instructor, was more than happy to be a part of this historical event.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for the Soldiers to see something else, get them involved in the procedures that we do and see how we do things,” said Stobbe.

Soldiers’ agility, endurance, strength and mental toughness are put to the test during this rigorous competition.

“The warriors that are here are above and beyond the rest,” said Sgt.1st Class Glenn Holmes, a senior drill instructor with the 98th Training Division, 108th Training Command.

Competitors were honored to have this opportunity and are very excited to compete in the upcoming events.

“It feels great knowing not everyone gets this opportunity,” said Sgt. Justin Richardson of 365th Chemical Company, 416th Theater Engineer Command. “It just shows how great the Army is.”

This unique event affords competitors the opportunity to earn a highly-coveted and prestigious foreign award even if they don’t achieve the title of the Best Warrior.

“I think it’s great that they have incorporated this into the competition, so even if we don’t move on, we walk away with something,” said Sgt. Katie Nadeau of the 804th Medical Brigade, 3rd Medical Command. “I know that these opportunities don’t come by often and I’m grateful.”