Best warrior competition[MIGRATE]

By Melissa Buckley Guidon Staff | March 31, 2014

Photos
Marine Sgt. Michael Baldwin, Marine Corps Detachment, swings across a pit during the Physical Endurance Confidence course event.

Marine Sgt. Michael Baldwin, Marine Corps Detachment, swings across a pit during the Physical Endurance Confidence course event. (Photo by Rudy L Fox)

Fort Leonard Wood’s Soldiers, Seabees and Marines put their top service members to the test for the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence 2014 Best Warrior competition.

Competitors endured frigid weather and complex exams, as their minds and bodies were strained through four days of events.

With snow on the ground and temperatures in the low teens, 23 competitors started the competition under the moonlight March 17. Their first event was the physical fitness assessment.

Staff Sgt. Joshua Roberts, Company A, 795th Military Police Battalion, 14th Military Police Brigade drill sergeant, said he didn’t mind the cold weather.

“It was awesome. It was good training,” Roberts said. “Sometimes you never know — here you can have all four seasons in one day.”

Competitors were also tested on their knowledge of weapons, such as the M249 light machine gun, grenades and M136 rocket launcher.

As the competition progressed competitors were evaluated on everything from their combative skills to ceremony and drill techniques.

“Just being selected for this competition is an honor. Being able to represent my organization is a pretty good feeling,” Roberts said. “I like the camaraderie that I’ve built with the new people I met in the competition.”

Competitor Staff Sgt. Jonathan Miller, Company B, 787th Military Police Battalion, 14th Military Police Brigade, won 2014 Drill Sergeant of the Year. “This is probably the greatest accomplishment I have ever received,” Miller said. “It was truly an honor to compete with the other drill sergeants.”

His favorite event was the Physical Endurance Confidence course.

“I’ve done it a lot with my Soldiers. When I found out that was an event, I knew I had that one,” Miller said. “All of the events were well put together and executed.”

The hardest part of the competition for Miller was not knowing what was next.

“Once we got there, we didn’t have a choice but to do it,” Miller said.

Overall, he said he enjoyed getting to know the other competitors.

“Regardless of what branch or what category, everyone came together. Though it was a competition, everyone came together and pushed each other beyond our limits,” Miller said.