NEWS | June 9, 2021

Army Reserve Soldier of the Year

By Maj. Khoran Lee 416th Theater Engineer Command

The Soldier of the Year in the Army Reserve is from the lone star state.

Spc. Nicholas Kyne, 402nd Engineer Company, Houston, Texas recently competed and won Soldier of the Year in the United States Army Reserve Command (USARC) Best Warrior Competition (BWC) at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin from 18-28 May 2021.

He previously won best Soldier at the 416th Theater Engineer Command BWC, Camp Shelby, Mississippi in April.

In a conversation with Spc. Kyne, he discussed his training strategy for both events.

Q: What have you learned from participating in BWC at Camp Shelby and moving on to the USARC level competition at Fort McCoy?

A: "At the TEC, I won best warrior but my squad didn't win best squad so I got plugged into a different squad into (at the USARC level). It was definitely cool to get trained up with those guys and learn to work with a whole new team I think it’s in view with the Army. You can take a bunch of guys and put them in a random team who never worked together before. Given a little bit of time to train up and get to know each other we worked pretty well together.”

Q: At the TEC Level you won best Soldier but what was it like competing with Soldiers across the Army Reserve?

A: “It was intimidating, for sure, because there were the medics that were experts at all the Combat Lifesaver (CLS) lanes. There were different MOS’s that definitely had big advantages in certain events. It was a super cool way to compete with everybody across the Army,” said Kyne.

Q: How are you preparing for the next level of competition at the Department of the Army (DA) level?

A: “I think it's going to be in October. So just trying to train up and get ready for that one and hope things go pretty decently out there.”

Q: With this last event what were the obstacles you learned to overcome?

A: “So here I think for the TEC level, I definitely was not hydrated enough or eating the right kind of stuff before that ruck march because that 12 mile at the TEC was, like, the worst one I’ve ever done. I barely finished in time. The one we just did over here at USARC, I was for sure focusing on the nutrition and hydration before that ruck. And I saw a personal best for that one. So I definitely learned how to how to prepare for a ruck better. I think the preparation, like two or three days in advance, is really the key.”

Q: Moving forward to the DA level what will you be doing to train for Best Warrior in October 2021?

A: “We've got, I think, a month long train up right before the DA competition. I just work with the resources being able to do land navigation and go out to the ranges and shoot weapons. I can shoot a little bit at home but it's not the same as the higher quality ranges the Army has. So all that train up stuff and then maybe just working on the ACFT,” said Kyne. “I talked to a guy at USARC who used to do shot put in high school and he's going to be providing a lot of pointers on how to get better at the medicine ball throw. That’s the hardest part trying to max that standing power ball throw.”

Spc. Kyne will move forward to represent the Army Reserve during the DA level Best Warrior Competition in October. Kyne is a member of the 420th Engineer Brigade and joined the squad from the 647th Regional Support Group to represent the 416th TEC and the 1st Annual Best Squad.

The best from the U.S. Army Reserve compete annually for the title of Best Warrior. Representing seven Geographic Commands and 22 Functional Commands, Soldiers spend a week competing in a variety of challenges including firing weapons, land navigation, the Army Combat Fitness Test, and various mystery events. These challenges will ultimately test their capabilities and combat-readiness.