Nevada guardsman scores Silver medal at All-Army Best Warrior contest
WASHINGTON — In the entire Army, there is only one soldier who can claim to have the ability to defeat the Nevada Army Guard’s Sgt. Grant Reimers in a Best Warrior Competition.
The 22-year old truck driver from the 1859th Transportation Company headquartered in Reno placed second in the All-Army Best Warrior Competition. Only the U.S. Army Pacific’s Spc. Hazen Ham stopped Reimers from a perfect Best Warrior season; Reimers had already won his battalion, state, regional and All-National Guard contests to advance to the All-Army competition.
Ham and Staff Sgt. Ryan McCarthy, who represented the Army Training and Doctrine Command, were officially named the Army’s Soldier and NCO of the Year, respectively, during an awards luncheon at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition.
This year’s Best Warrior contest included 22 competitors who excelled in earlier competitions at 11 major commands before they moved on to the Army-level contest. Once in the All-Army contest, they faced six long days of challenging, grueling tasks at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia.
Held annually since 2002, a Best Warrior competition tests soldiers on their aptitude through physical fitness assessments, written exams, urban warfare simulations and other warrior tasks and battle drills. There was also a selection boards in front of some of the Army’s most senior enlisted leaders, including Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey.
Organizers purposely left soldiers in the dark throughout the competition.
“The competition is designed to be very, very diverse,” Dailey said. “From the time they get off the bus, they’re being evaluated and sometimes they have no idea they are even being evaluated. What we’re trying to do is actually find the best Soldier.”
All of the events, many of which were complex scenarios seen in combat, boiled down to one thing — readiness, one of the Army’s top priorities.
Dailey recognized every competitors’ achievements, noting only the top Soldiers qualified for the All-Army competition.
“There are 1.18 million soldiers in the Army and only 22 of them get to compete,” he said. “It takes a lot of hard work and effort. They are all superhero kids.”