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NEWS | March 31, 2022

76th ORC Soldiers compete in FY22 Consortium Best Warrior Competition

By Sgt. 1st Class Chantell Black 76th Operational Response Command

The Fiscal Year 22 Consortium Best Warrior Competition was held for Army Reserve Soldiers at Camp Bullis in San Antonio, Texas, during the week of March 2-6, 2022. The event was hosted by and utilized cadre and support staff from eight different Army Reserve commands.

Soldiers from 17 different Army Reserve Units from across the United States competed for the title of Best Warrior Soldier and Best Warrior NCO. Winners from each command will move on to the U.S. Army Reserve Command Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, in May.

“Not everybody can do this, you’ll be a different Soldier when you’re done with this,” said Brig. Gen. Joseph Marsiglia, Commanding General of the Army Reserve’s Medical Readiness Training Battalion (MRTC) in his opening remarks to all the competitors.

In collaboration with the other commands, the 76th Operational Response Command provided support on the weapons qualification range and the obstacle course, on day 2 and 3 of the competition. This year, 31 Army Reserve Soldiers competed at Camp Bullis. Soldiers from the ranks of Private 1st Class through Staff Sgt. spent the week competing for the coveted titles of Junior enlisted Best Warrior and Best Warrior NCO of their respective commands.

“I just wanted to learn more about the Army and being a Soldier and really hone in on the skills I already have,” said Pfc. Gerardo Cuevas, Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, and Nuclear Specialist from the 349th Chemical Company, 476th Chemical Battalion, 455th Chemical Brigade. “There is nothing like competition to see where you need to improve. You can’t be anxious about any of the events, it’s a learning experience.”

Competitors brought sponsors with them who have the responsibility of preparing them to compete throughout the event. Sponsors are often Soldiers who have competed in the Best Warrior Competition in previous years. Several Commands also held their own competition beforehand in order to vet the Soldiers who have come forward to compete at this level. The 76th ORC alone had 11 Soldiers participating, the largest number of competitors from a single command and a third of the total number of competitors.

“It’s really these Soldiers stepping out and going above and beyond their peers and doing this,” said 76th ORC’s CSM Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Potts. “That’s important for me and it’s really exciting to see that we have a majority of the competitors at this combined competition.”

The competition included a 12-mile ruck march, weapons qualification range, the Army Combat Fitness Test, an obstacle course, day and night land navigation courses, a written essay exam, an appearance board, Military Operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT) training and Army Warrior Task lanes, along with a swim event.

“Resilient is the word that strikes me,” said Master Sgt. Shakaylor McDaniel, a paralegal from the 99th Readiness Division, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ. Mc Daniel served as a member of the cadre for the competition. “In one day, they took an ACFT, swim test, and then gave it their all on the obstacle course,” she said.

The winners of the competition from the 76th ORC were: Overall Best NCO was Cpl. Robert Maddox, 369th Chemical Company, 450th Chemical Battalion, 455th Chemical Brigade and Overall Best Enlisted Soldier was Spc. Joshua Rennick, 6th Space Company, 2d Space Battalion 1st Space Brigade. The runner ups were Cpl. James-Michael Hall and Pfc. Gerardo Cuevas. The overall winners will attend the USARC level Best Warrior Competition at Ft. McCoy in May, in hopes of moving on to the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition.

“Come here with the idea that it's you against yourself,” said Cpl. James-Michael Hall, 392d Chemical Company, 468th Chemical Battalion, 209th Regional Support Group. “Don’t worry about what the other competitors are doing and just give it your all and don’t quit.”