MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Florida –
Army Reserve military police brigades sent their best Soldiers to Florida to compete in the 200th Military Police Command Army Best Warrior Competition. The 200th was part of a three-command competition which also included the 335th Signal Command and the U.S. Army Reserve Legal Command. The Soldiers displayed their physical and mental agility during the one-week competition. Sgt. Tyler Bennett, an internment/resettlement specialist with the 290th Military Police Brigade was named the 200th NCO of the Year, and Spc. Michael Patterson, a military policeman with the 11th Military Police Brigade was named the 200th Enlisted Soldier of the Year.
All the Soldiers started off the competition with the German Armed Forces Badge (GAFB) for Military Proficiency test where they were evaluated on marksmanship, first aid, reaction to a chemical environment, basic fitness test, a foot march, and a 100-meter swim. By completing the required points in each event, Soldiers are awarded one of three grades of the GAFB: Gold, Silver or Bronze.
“I was swimming before this to get ready at this level,” said Patterson, who received the Silver GAFB. “Overall the stress and the fatigue helped me out.”
The competitors then traveled three hours to Camp Blanding for the land navigation test and a situational training exercise (STX) where they were tested on first aid, operating a radio, sending a medical evacuation request, weapons assembly, moving tactically on foot and sending a report on enemy information.
“The brigade level was challenging, and it has led me to be successful at this level,” said Bennett. “We just did these events, and it is still fresh in my head when we did it two weeks ago.”
The competitors then traveled back to MacDill AFB and the Tampa Bay area to participate in the Army Combat Fitness Test, an oral board, disassembling/assembling weapons, a nautical STX, and weapons qualification.
During the long competition, Soldiers learned and grew a friendship even as competitors. The NCO’s and enlisted Soldiers even had group study in-between events.
“There was friendship and a bond going through these different courses and events from the past week,” said Bennett.
Bennett and Patterson are now preparing themselves for the U.S. Army Reserve Command competition, which will be held in May. These Soldiers will face higher level competition as over 20 Army Reserve commands will send their best to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.
“This competition has prepared me for the next level, like the ruck march,” said Patterson. “This will get my body mentally and physically prepared.
“I am going to prepare myself with continuing my physical fitness exercises and better myself learning Soldier tasks,” said Bennett. “You can never be perfect going through the task.”
“I will also get my mind right and study more on board questions,” added Bennett.
Bennett and Patterson accepted the challenge and once again will battle it out at the next level.