10th AAMDC competes in Best Warrior Competition

by 2nd Lt. Jean P. Tomte
10th AAMDC Public Affairs

Twenty Soldiers from the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, located on Rhine Ordnance Barracks, competed in the 2012 Best Warrior Competition May 14 to 18 to determine the most qualified candidate to represent the 10th AAMDC at the U.S. Army Europe competition in August.

Soldiers eligible to compete were junior officers in the ranks of second lieutenant to captain who had not completed the Captain’s Career Course, noncommissioned officers in the ranks of corporal through sergeant first class and Soldiers in the ranks of private through specialist. The winners of the competition were:

• OFFICER: Lt. Joshua Herrington, Alpha Battery, 5/7 ADA
• NCO: Sgt. 1St Class Jesus Arellano, Charlie Battery, 5/7 ADA
• JUNIOR ENLISTED: Spc. James Earl, Hhb, 5/7 ADA

 The 10th AAMDC chief of staff, Lt. Col. Benjamin Ogden, briefed the competitors on the first day of the competition.

“I see this as a best professional warrior competition. By simply competing, you’ve already come out as the highest professional in this organization,” he said. “You have to maintain your technical proficiency as Soldiers and this event will test that.”

Warriors who stepped up to compete had to master a series of events. During the competition, these warriors tested their ability to complete the Army physical fitness test, a 20K foot march, the stress shoot, the obstacle course, day and night land navigation, the M16 qualification range, the mystery event, the physical readiness training session, writing an essay, all Army warrior tasks and battle drills that are applicable to today’s warfare environment.

Additionally, warriors appeared in front of a board to evaluate their knowledge in general in military bearing, resume, reporting procedures, uniform and appearance, and oral expression.

“The training is going great, we all trained up before we got here. Now it is time to put what we learned at the battery level into practice,” said Staff Sgt. Cedric Whitlock from Rock Hill, S.C. Whitlock is a launcher platoon squad leader from Delta Battery, 5-7 ADA.

When asked what his level of confidence was before starting the night land navigation, Whitlock said, “I never felt so confident. It depends how far apart my points are. I believe I can find all my three points in one hour.”

The grading process was tough and fair, and the maximum points that could be achieved was 370.

“Soldiers are getting fatigued, and that’s what this competition is all about. It gets you thinking critically and reacting to obstacles,” said Sgt. 1st Class Derek Salley from Philadelphia, Pa., who was one of the evaluators.

“My job during this exercise was to distract the competitors and see if they will notice the brief case on the side of the car,” said Spc. Robert Duverger, who works as a Patriot Operator Maintainer.

10th AAMDC Officer, NCO and Soldier Best Warrior Competition winners will receive several awards and recognition. Winners will also represent the command at the USAREUR competition.