JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. –
Spc. Kathleen Dougherty teaches music for a living, but from Feb. 22-26, the teacher became the student.
Dougherty and seven of her fellow Army Reserve Soldiers took part in the 99th Readiness Division’s FY21 Best Warrior Competition Train-Up at division headquarters here.
“My whole reason for participating (in this training) was that my team leader said I would be a good fit for it, saying, ‘Hey, I think this would be good for you, this would be a good opportunity for you to get out there and experience what the regular Army is like,’” said Dougherty, who serves as a musician with the 99th RD’s 78th Army Band stationed here.
“I’m here to get a better experience and become a better me,” added Dougherty, a native of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.
The BWC Train-Up is designed to prepare Soldiers for the upcoming Combined Readiness Division BWC by improving their depth of knowledge and proficiency in military skills in a competitive, tactical environment.
The event promotes and sustains a culture of excellence, leadership, individual readiness and team-building within the command.
“Recently, I went through the Army’s Basic Leadership Course, so I had some leadership opportunities there,” said Dougherty, who has served in the Army since 2018. “I think this will be an opportunity to gain even more leadership skills.”
The BWC Train-Up is focused on developing leaders by operationalizing Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston’s concept of, “This is My Squad.”
“In 2022, the Department of the Army will be doing Top Squad competitions in lieu of single-Soldier best warrior competitions,” explained Command Sgt. Maj. John Zimmerman, command sergeant major of the 99th RD. “That concept was born in the Army Reserve, and we’re very proud of that.
“Going from a single-Soldier event to a squad event is giving us leader development, and that’s invaluable,” Zimmerman continued. “That’s something that is very challenging for us to get in the Army Reserve with our junior Soldiers.”
All four Army Reserve readiness divisions will meet at Fort Hunter Liggett, California, in March for a Combined Readiness Division “Top Squad” BWC. The top five Soldiers from that event will represent the four RDs at the Army Reserve-level competition to be held in May at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.