JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas –
In following her predecessors by volunteering for the Best Warrior Competition, Spc. Hallie Koches is setting the example for future Soldiers.
“I saw a ton of my ‘Battles’ from the band [compete] and I thought it was really cool,” said Koches, a vocalist with the 99th Readiness Division’s 78th Army Band who is currently here to compete in the 5-day FY22 Consortium Best Warrior Competition.
“Being a lifter and being a gym person, I was really excited for the physical aspect, and it was nice to learn new stuff,” explained the Kingwood, New Jersey, native. “It’s a nice challenge and it’s going to improve me as a Soldier.”
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.
“Although it’s a competition, and we will evaluate their individual skills, we also want to make sure they have fun,” Pompey said. “Sometimes our Soldiers spend so much time just doing work, but it’s good to come and do something outside of their regular jobs – whether it’s their civilian jobs or their military jobs – to do something different and get a better perspective of how the Army works.”
Koches cannot know if she will win the CBWC and represent the 99th RD at the Army Reserve-level Best Warrior Competition scheduled for May, but she is certain about what she hopes to gain from her time here.
“I just want to become a better Soldier, have more knowledge, and maybe come back again,” she said.