By Sgt. 1st Class Lisa M. Litchfield
U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne)
The U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) hosted a three-day Best Warrior Competition (BWC), April 8 – 10, for noncommissioned officers and enlisted Soldiers drawn from units throughout the command to demonstrate their Warrior skills and compete for the trophy as the top USACAPOC(A) NCO and Soldier, as well as a spot at the U.S. Army Reserve BWC later this year.
The BWC is a challenge that pushes those who compete to rise above that of their fellow Soldiers, and to perform as the best of the best of USACAPOC(A) noncommissioned officers and enlisted Soldiers.
BWC competitors take part in a range of events over the three days of the competition designed to test their knowledge, endurance, and leadership skills. These challenges include the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), M4 Rifle qualification, M17 Pistol qualification, Tactical Army Combat Casualty Care (TCCC), Land Navigation range, a 12 Mile Tactical Ruck March, a “Mystery Event” composed of the timed assembly of an M240B machine fun and an M249 squad automatic weapon, an Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment (OCIE) Layout “shakedown,” an Expert Soldier Badge Task, the Fit to Win II course, the CSM Appearance Board, and the German Armed Forces Badge (GAFB) 1,000 meter run.
Soldiers who stood out amongst their peers were announced as winners of this year’s USACAPOC(A) Best Warrior Competition at Hilton Field, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, April 10, 2021. These top noncommissioned officers and Soldiers will go on to represent USACAPOC(A) in the U.S. Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition later in 2021, where they will compete with Soldiers from every major Army Reserve command.
The 2021 USACAPOC(A) BWC winners are:
- Staff Sgt. Jonathon Chacon, assigned to 426th Civil Affairs Bn., 358th Civil Affairs Bde., 351st CACOM, USACAPOC(A) NCO of the Year.
- Spc. Jaime Delgado, assigned to the 412th Civil Affairs Bn., 360th Civil Affairs Bde., 352nd CACOM, USACAPOC(A) Soldier of the Year.
- Sgt. Shayn Lindquist, assigned to the 412th Civil Affairs Bn., 360th Civil Affairs Bde., 352nd CACOM, USACAPOC(A) NCO of the Year, Runner Up.
- Spc. Daniel Bush, assigned to the 418th Civil Affairs Bn., 308th Civil Affairs Bde., 353rd CACOM, USACAPOC(A) Soldier of the Year Runner Up.
Preparation for a best warrior competition begins months in advance, with most Soldiers sacrificing countless hours of personal time to physical fitness, Warrior Task proficiency training, and weapons training for the chance to compete.
Each command under the USACAPOC(A) umbrella held their own BWC, with those winners representing this week at Ft. Jackson. Competitors for the 2021 USACAPOC(A) Best Warrior Competition included:
- Staff Sgt. Marco Antonio Campos, from the 410th Civil Affairs Battalion, El Paso, Texas, representing the 350th Civil Affairs Command.
- Staff Sgt. Riley P. Greenwald, from the 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion, Green Bay, Wis., representing the 353rd Civil Affairs Command.
- Staff Sgt. Natalie N. Tedesco, from the 303rd Psychological Operations Company, Coraopolis, Pa., representing the 2nd Psychological Operations Group.
- Staff Sgt. Valery Valtrain, from the 151st Theater Information Operations Group, Fort Totten, N.Y., representing the TIOG.
- Spc. Jackson W. Daab, from the 492nd Civil Affairs Battalion, Buckeye, Ariz., representing the 351st Civil Affairs Command.
- Spc. Arianna Hammel, from the 310th Psychological Operations Company (Airborne), Forest Park, Ga., representing the 2nd Psychological Operations Group.
- Spc. Timothy John Lowitzer, from the 1001st Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Training Company, Trenton, N.J., representing the 350th Civil Affairs Command.
Although ultimately only one winner and runner-up was named Soldier and NCO of the Year, each of these competitors distinguished themselves and their commands with their professionalism, teamwork and dedication to the task at hand. The training they received during the competition will be used extensively as they return to their formations to coach and mentor their peers and subordinates and work to prepare for USACAPOC(A) missions, and perhaps even the 2022 BWC.