DEVENS, Mass. –
Four Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 304th Regiment (USMA), 104th Training Division (Leader Training), competed in a Best Warrior Competition (BWC) at the Devens Reserve Forces Training Area on Oct. 23, 2022.
The BWC is a chance for Soldiers to enhance their skills by placing them in a competitive setting, putting their abilities to the test against their comrades. The BWC selects the best Soldier and noncommissioned officer in the battalion to matriculate to higher echelons of competition.
The Soldiers competing in the BWC are also instructors at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. The events in the BWC help prepare these Soldiers on the skills needed to properly train West Point Cadets.
“I’m doing the best warrior competition because I was asked on behalf of my platoon to represent our company because I maintain the physical and mental standards of a Soldier,” said Spc. Griffin Shields, a competitor in the BWC from Alpha Company of the 3-304th. “This competition allows us to train and be competitive which enables us to be better instructors and leaders at West Point for our mission this summer.”
These Soldiers realize the importance of leading by example and being proficient in what they teach.
“It’s best to practice all of our warrior skills and be able to direct what we need our Cadets to be doing,” said Sgt. Ben Wagner, a competitor from Charlie Company of the 3-304th. “They take most of their advice from us when training. We need to project that we know what we’re doing.”
The BWC consists of multiple events demonstrating skills in various Soldier tasks including an obstacle course, a foot march, tactical combat casualty care, 9-Line MEDEVAC, and M249 weapon assembly and disassembly. Competitors also completed advanced land navigation and an Army Combat Fitness Test.
“I did this [competition] last minute, so I’m happy going through it and seeing what my body can do,” said Spc. Stevie Theoharidis, another competitor from Bravo Company of the 3-304th. “This competition helps you figure out what’s wrong with you, so when teaching Cadets, it teaches you how to be more efficient.”
The Soldiers were able to test their knowledge of the tasks through the BWC, gaining hands-on experience to train West Point Cadets for their upcoming mission next summer while enhancing individual Soldier readiness.
The winners, Spc. Griffin Shields and Sgt. Ben Wagner, will be participating in the 104th Division Best Warrior Competition in the spring.