The winners for the 80th Training Command and 99th Regional Support Command’s combined Best Warrior Competition were announced at an award ceremony at Fort Devens, Massachusetts April 6, 2017.

U.S. Army Sgt. Curtis Presley and Spc. Aaron Chavers were named the Best Non-Commissioned Officer and Best Warrior and, respectively, for the 99th while U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Marcy DiOssi was named the 80th Best Warrior.

“There were a lot of good competitors here and seeing them perform over the competition, I didn’t think I had won,” said DiOssi. “I was shocked and honored.”

Like DiOssi, Spc. Chavers was also surprised to hear his name called for the highest award given that morning.

“I didn’t expect to do as well as I did,” said Chavers. “But, it felt really good that all my hard work paid off in the end.”

In total, twenty-two soldiers from across both commands competed in the event which tested their basic warrior skills such as marksmanship, land navigation, physical fitness, as well as other skills, which the soldiers may not use on a regular basis.

“I figured it would be suitably grueling, and it was,” said Presley, a band member with the 380th Army Band. “I had a great time. I met some really good soldiers and I learned a lot of things; I learned about my deficiencies and I’m going to carry that forward in my career and the next competition.”

While not every soldier would win, everyone had a reason for joining the competition.

“I wanted to challenge myself,” said Presley, a Durham, North Carolina native, “and I thought this would be a great way to do it.”

Day one began with the Army Physical Fitness Test. Soldiers performed as many pushups and sit-ups in two minutes and concluded the APFT with a two-mile run.

Later, Soldiers appeared before the Sergeants Major Board. Their military leadership, U.S. Army history, current events, and weapons’ knowledge were tested, as well as their ability to recite the Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) or Soldier’s creed, depending on rank.

The next day, Soldiers’ marksmanship skills and hiking ability were put to the test. In the morning, they took a trip to the weapons range to test their abilities on the M16-A2 rifle and M9 pistol and followed it with a 10-kilometer ruck march.

In the evening the Soldiers moved from their barracks to a Forward Operations Base (FOB) on the outskirts of Devens.

In the final day of competition, Soldiers demonstrated their skills on the terrain. Between day and night land navigation, they steered through the base’s obstacle course.

Throughout the competition, both Sergeants Major from the 99th and the 80th had high praise for the competitors and the competition, itself.

“This brings out the best Soldiers and NCOs,” said Command. Sgt. Maj. Arlindo “Al” Almeida. “We are Soldiers first. The Best Warrior Competition demonstrates that.”

Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Darlington, command sergeant major for the 80th Training Command, concurred. “Best Warrior brings out the best showcase of Soldiers’ talent,” he said. “I’m happy to see the Warriors. Yes, we will crown two winners: an NCO and a Soldier. However, they’re all winners here.”

Presley, Chavers, and DiOssi will go to Fort Bragg, North Carolina for the Army Reserve level of the competition, July 11-17, 2017.

Back to Portfolio