By Spc. Gordon Penn
361st Theater Public Affairs Support Element
“I think I’m lost,” exclaims Sgt. Rohity Shrestha, the supply sergeant for the 356th Broadcast Operations Detachment, while stepping out of the wood-line to find an unexpected swamp before her.
“I worry I’m not very good at a lot of these warrior tasks,” says Shrestha, adding, “But that’s the point of this competition to help train me to be a better all-around Soldier.”
Shrestha is competing against 11 other warriors during the Combined Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JBMDL) Best Warrior Competition (BWC), March 12-15, 2020.
The Combined BWC highlights individual readiness and recognizes Soldiers who demonstrate the commitment to the Army Values, embody the Warrior Ethos, as well as represent the most capable, combat-ready, and lethal Federal Reserve Force in the history of the Nation.
Shrestha, born in Kathmandu, Nepal, knew from an early age she wanted to become an American. In her efforts to accomplish her dreams she joined the United States Army Reserve and became a citizen in 2016.
“I owe the Army Reserve so much. They’ve given me confidence and fitness, but first and foremost they made me American,” said the Gaithersburg, Maryland, native.
“The sergeant has definitely earned her citizenship,” said Master Sgt. Joseph Bicchieri, acting first sergeant for the 356th BOD.
“Look!” yells Shrestha, who deployed to Kuwait in 2018, who breaks into a sprint towards the elusive first land navigation point on the course.
“Now I know I can do this,” said Shrestha.
“I can’t teach the sergeant to do land-nav, but you can’t teach the enthusiasm that she brings to the unit,” Bicchieri points out.
Shrestha looks down at her map to see where she marked her second marker location. She takes a deep breath
“Let’s do this,” she said confidently, as she disappears into the wood-line and off towards her next goal.