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NEWS | March 7, 2022

Army Reserve Soldier tackles first Best Warrior Competition

By Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris 99th Readiness Division

Spc. Steven Peralta has never competed in a Best Warrior Competition during his three-year Army career – until now.

“I volunteered because of what the other Soldiers in my unit who have [competed] before said about it,” said Peralta, a flute and piccolo player with the 99th Readiness Division’s 78th Army Band who is currently here to compete in the 5-day FY22 Consortium Best Warrior Competition.

“I wanted the experience. It’s challenging, but it’s going to be fun,” explained the Clifton, New Jersey, native.

The FY22 Consortium Best Warrior Competition kicked off March 3 with a 12-mile road march and is challenging Soldiers with tasks such as qualification with various weapons, the Army Combat Fitness Test, water survival, obstacle course, land navigation and urban warfare.

“The Best Warrior Competition is an opportunity for leadership to evaluate their Soldiers’ individual skills,” explained Command Sgt. Maj. Subretta Pompey, 99th RD command sergeant major. “I call it the ‘Total Soldier’ concept, where we see our Soldiers in training and we see our Soldiers in the organization doing operational work, but this is to test their individual skills as well as their strengths and weaknesses.”

The CBWC is a joint event featuring Soldiers belonging to several Army Reserve Commands from across the nation, to include the 80th Training Command, 807th Medical Command, 76th Operational Response Command, Medical Readiness and Training Command, and the 63rd, 81st, 88th and 99th Readiness Divisions.

“Some of the things they do out here – the preparation, the time that they’re spending on certain events and certain exercises – is far above some of their peers, so it sets them up for advancement in the Army, it sets them up for promotion,” Pompey explained. “It helps them to evaluate themselves – their individual skills, their strengths, their weaknesses – and then they know how to continue and improve their jobs, both on and off duty.”

Peralta cannot know if he will win the CBWC and represent the 99th RD at the Army Reserve-level Best Warrior Competition scheduled for May, but he is certain about what he hopes to gain from his time here.

“I hope to come out more physically fit and more of a leader; a better NCO,” he said.