FORT McCOY, Wis. –
SFC Lee, thank you for your kind introduction. SSG Gode, that was a solid rendition of the National Anthem.
I want to acknowledge and thank LTG Daniels our Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General, US Army Reserve Command. This event could not be possible without your support of the Non-Commissioned Officer Corps and programs of excellence. I know General Daniels would be here today if she could however she is currently engaged and fully committed to shaping the Army Reserve for tomorrow… Ma’am, just know that I am fully committed to ensure that we are ready now!
A quick shout out for General Daniels’ husband, I got you Mr. McCarthy. None of this could be possible without the support of our family members. They are the bond that unites us all. I encourage all of our family members out there watching and supporting your Soldiers to join us on June 26, 2021 at 1 PM EST for our next live discussion of U.S. Army Reserve Family Programs. To learn more visit us on Facebook @usarmyreserve.
I want to acknowledge the 204th Army Band out of Arden Hill, MN. You guys are awesome! I want to thank the Fort McCoy Army Reserve Garrison and the 88th “Blue Devils” Readiness Division for hosting this year’s competition. I want to thank Mike Evans who is representing the Association of the United States Army, a friend to Soldiers, who sponsored our event here today.
Major General Juknelis, Major General Joe Robinson, Army Reserve Ambassador from the great state of Wisconsin Marcia M. Anderson, and Brigadier General Kuilan, we really appreciate your command presence and support of this program. It means a lot to me and your Soldiers.
I also want to welcome our guest speaker SGM Jack H. Love who serves in the highest levels of the Army as the SGM for the Headquarters Department of the Army G357 which includes Operations, Plans, and Training. He often serves as an advisor to the SMA and his Senior Enlisted Counsel. He also oversees the DA Best Warrior Competitions. I have had the distinct privilege of being able learn firsthand from him while attending the Nominative Leader Course together.
Fellow Command Sergeant Majors, cadre and our 77 Army Reserve Best Squad Competitors, welcome to the 2021 US Army Reserve Best Warrior and Best Squad Competition.
Every Soldier has a right to achieve excellence. Competitions like this or the Expert Soldier Badge and the Expert Field Medical Badge are opportunities we give to our Soldiers to achieve that excellence! This year we incorporated Expert Soldier Badge tasks to prepare these Soldiers to compete in next year’s ESB. I challenge Commanders to send these professionals. The goal is to not achieve the badge, but to strive for excellence in the performance of our Army Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills as one way of building combat readiness in the Army Reserve. The ESB and the EFMB are programs of excellence which are uniquely relevant to the Army Reserve due to our structure being designed to support the Total Force with maneuver support and sustainment support capabilities. Building excellence and readiness is the ultimate goal, earning the badge is a collateral benefit…
In the words of Vince Lombardi, “The Price of Success is Hard Work, Dedication to the Job at Hand, and the Determination that Whether We Win or Lose, We have applied the Best of Ourselves to the Task at Hand.”
Let me highlight some of the events that your Soldiers went through across eight days during this year’s Best Warrior and Squad Competitions. They conducted an ACFT, a 200m swim test, an obstacle course, day and night land navigation, standard weapons qualifications, ESB medical, weapons, and patrol lanes, Expert in Marksmanship testing, a 12 mile ruck march, Squad assault courses, and other events to test Squad cohesion such as a HeloCast from a CH-47 Chinook. The concluded the competition with formal boards measuring their cognitive ability and knowledge of Army programs in order to take care of the ultimate weapon… The American Soldier.
All the while these Soldiers bivouacked in the field throughout the week. You may have noticed some differences in the way we conducted this year’s competition. In an effort to lean forward and test the concept SMA Grinston is building we conducted the first ever Army Reserve Best Squad Competition. Teams of five individuals trained and executed competitive events together. This is another way we are operationalizing This Is My Squad and building cohesive teams at the Squad level that are Disciplined, Physically Fit, Highly Trained, and Soldiers for Life!
As some of you look around you will see the many cadre that made this competition a reality. Many of these Soldiers have been here before. These Soldiers keep coming back as they absolutely love what these competitions have to offer our Soldiers. They return as sponsors and cadre ensuring these traditions are passed down. I challenge each of our competitors and cadre to take back what they have learned here to their units, and pass on excellence in field craft, professionalism and enhanced leadership skills, to develop cohesive teams and squads. I also challenge them to return or sponsor future competitors at the FY22 Best Warrior and Squad Competitions. With what you learned here you have the answers to the test in your arsenal. Continue to hone and sharpen your tactical edge! All Soldiers have the right to achieve excellence! Continue to earn yours!