Soldiers from the 77th Sustainment Brigade compete to become the brigade’s “Best Warrior”

By Staff Sgt. David Clemenko | 77th Sustainment Brigade | Feb. 27, 2017

February 3, 2017 — The brigade level competition is a major step in the process to claim the ultimate title, USARC Best Warrior. The winner and runner up representing the NCOs and junior enlisted will move to the next phase. In March, all the brigades under the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) will compete for top honors which will determine who will move on to the 377th Theater Sustainment Command level.

“The Best Warrior Competition is designed to build camaraderie and push Soldiers to be become better leaders,” said Sgt. Maj. Harrington D. Henry, 77th Sustainment Brigade, Support Operations Sergeant Major and noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) for the competition. “This competition was specifically designed to test the Soldiers in a very short span of time.”

The Soldiers did not have a lot of time to get acclimated to their surroundings as the competition began immediately after check-in, which was a surprise to many.

“The highlight was the obstacle course which happened the same day the competitors checked in,” said Henry. “They were not expecting the competition to begin that quickly. Overall, Soldiers did a great job and I believe we have some very talented and well qualified Soldiers in the Army Reserve and I’m proud of them.”

Soldiers from across the brigade helped Henry with the competition, including four master sergeants who executed a board where Soldiers were tested on their military knowledge and had their Army Service Uniforms inspected.

“We collectively work together to ask the candidates multiple questions on basic Soldiering which includes regulations, current events and weapon systems,” said Master Sgt. Brian Moynihan, 77th Sustainment Brigade, Operations NCOIC. “We spend this time with the Soldiers to prepare them for the next level of the Best Warrior Competition. This competition has been a great experience and the candidates are highly motivated.”

77th Sustainment Brigade Soldiers traveled from all over the tri-state area to compete in this competition and represent their units to become the Best Warrior.

“The competition was offered to me and at first I was unsure, but now I’m happy I took on the challenge,” said Spc. Matthew T. Moody, Chemical Specialist, 354th Movement Control Battalion. “I reenlisted a few months ago and I’m hoping to be a great [noncommissioned officer] by leading Soldiers.”

When not serving in the Army Reserves, Moody currently works at a lumber yard, but his goal is to become a police officer.

“I learned a lot of great things and met some great people,” said Moody.  “This has been one of the best military experiences I’ve had since I started my career in the Army seven years ago. If I won it would mean a lot, it would make my company proud and I would be proud of myself.”

Some Soldiers are newer to the military and the Army Reserves, but that didn’t stop them going head to head with the seasoned veterans.

“I wanted to see how far I can push myself and how far I could go,” said Spc. Monica Acevedo, Automated Logistics Specialist, 77th Sustainment Brigade.

With less than two years in the Army Reserves, Acevedo wants to go active, become a drill sergeant and ultimately achieve the rank of warrant officer.

“I learned a lot and mostly I learned that doing things last minute is not the best way, planning is key to success,” said Acevedo.
Acevedo starts school soon and currently works at Home Depot Inc.

In the end, there can only be one winner for the junior enlisted and one winner representing the NCOs.

Taking home the title of the 77th Sustainment Brigade Best Warrior NCO was Sgt. Jack E. Pomerantz, Signal Support Systems Specialist, 404th Signal Company. Pomerantz has been in the Army Reserves for five years and is a full time student at Rutgers University.

Taking home the prize for the junior enlisted Soldiers was Spc. Xavier E. Mantock, Petroleum Supply Specialist, 277th Quartermaster Company.  Mantock has been in the Army for two years and works as a certified nursing assistant while not serving in the Army Reserves.

While there were designated winners, all the Soldiers won by gaining great experience and all will be moving on to the next level of the competition in March.