MESA, Ariz. –
The days were long and difficult, the events grueling and demanding, but competitors from the 653rd Regional Support Group exceled at the 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) 2023 Best Warrior Competition, Dec. 5-9, 2022, Fort Hunter Liggett, California.
Participants were pushed through a series of events to include a 12-mile ruck march, day-night land navigation course, weapons qualification, Situational Training Exercise (STX) lanes, and a concluding board appearance.
The spirit of the 653rd RSG competitors was exemplified by Staff Sgt. Sovann Ry, human resource specialist, 312th AG Postal Detachment, who was named 311th ESC Noncommissioned Officer of the Year for the second consecutive year at the competition.
Assisting junior enlisted Soldiers and showing them that success is possible through determination and hard work is a key focus for Ry, who said he pushed himself harder for this year’s competition.
“My Soldiers are my reason for doing this … the junior enlisted are younger, motivated, more physically fit and as an NCO that’s what makes me want to participate,” Ry said. “After winning the best NCO last year I wanted to come back and do it again.”
Ry said the event began with the ruck march, something that was unexpected.
“The ruck march was certainly the most difficult event, nobody was expecting it to be first,” he said. “The weather was damp and cold, so it was just a case of putting all the practice into place.”
The competition was fiercer and more difficult in this year’s competition, but Ry was determined to come out on top once again.
“I’m proud of what I and my Soldiers achieved – now my goal is to push myself at the 79th Theater Sustainment Command Best Warrior Competition later this year.”
Also competing was Sgt. Percy Buckner, supply sergeant, HHC, 653rd RSG, who similarly sought to push himself by participating.
“I volunteered for this year’s competition so I could get some experience with the events and inspire others in the unit,” Buckner said. “I wanted to improve myself and take on the responsibility of the competition.”
The event proved to be extremely challenging, with Buckner enjoying the competition from fellow NCO’s competing against him.
“I enjoyed being able to measure myself in the ruck march, weapons qualification and board,” Buckner continued. “I pushed myself all the way, a hundred percent in every event. The camaraderie I built with the others is something I’ll take with me for a long time.”