McCRADY TRAINING CENTER, S.C. –
A pair of Army Reserve Soldiers distinguished themselves as the 415th Chemical Brigade’s top noncommissioned officer and junior enlisted Soldier during the brigade’s Best Warrior Competition held here Jan. 4-8.
Sgt. Alexander Garvey and Pvt. Mohd Maly topped a competitive crowd of 18 warriors from across the brigade. The scores in each category were tight across the competition, which tested the Soldiers’ marksmanship, physical fitness, land navigation skills, Army knowledge and more. Both winners will move on to compete at the 76th Operational Response Command’s Best Warrior Competition in April.
Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Scheels, the brigade’s top enlisted leader, said he was proud of all the competitors.
“They’ve all stepped up beyond the rank and file,” Scheels said. “They’ve taken the first step to say they want to be better than the best. Everybody can show up for battle assembly and training, but only a select few can compete at this level and move on.”
Garvey, a chemical NCO with the 327th Chemical Company, thanked his fellow competitors for challenging and helping each other.
“I appreciate all of the knowledge that was shared this week,” said the Knoxville, Tennessee native. “I’m glad I had the opportunity to help people out. It’s why we’re NCOs – to teach – and I like doing that.”
Maly, a chemical specialist assigned to the 377th Chemical Co., who completed his initial Army training in October, said the competition was a good lesson in “getting back up after being knocked down.”
“I would not have been able to do this without all of you,” said the Richmond, Virginia native. “I will make you all proud at the 76th. I won’t let you down.”
Garvey and Maly will be joined at the next level of competition by their runners-up: Sgt. 1st Class Michael Escobar, a motor sergeant with the 320th Chemical Co. from Union City, New Jersey, and Spc. Rusty White, a chemical specialist with the 371st Chemical Co. from Columbia, South Carolina. All four Soldiers will compete for a chance to move on to the U.S. Army Reserve Command level, and ultimately the Department of the Army competition.
While contests like this help the Army find its best and brightest, they also offer a chance to push uniform training information out to organizations’ Soldiers, said Staff Sgt. Michael Moore, the event’s assistant NCO-in-charge.
“It lets us identify future leaders and tailor our training to meet future enemies on the battlefield,” said Moore, a Greenville, South Carolina native. “We want the Soldiers here to take information back to their units. There’s a lot of experience across our organizations, and these Soldiers spend hours together.”
Scheels said the competition is also important in building esprit de corps across the brigade’s ranks.
“This event was planned and prepared by our NCO corps,” Scheels said. “It’s a great chance for our enlisted Soldiers to shine as the best of the best.”