BASTROP, Texas – Soldiers know they have to be prepared for anything and are being put to the test at the Best Warrior Competition this week.
Texas National Guard soldiers and airmen, along with Czech and Chilean armed forces members started competing Thursday morning, going through a physical fitness test and obstacle course.
“It’s a lot of exposure to something I’m not normally used to, doing every day in my career field which is education and trainings,” Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Brown said.
Brown said most of her duties are completed in an office, but was motivated to try out for the competition after hearing about it several times.
“We did a lot of weapons knowledge training, security forces at the 149th Fighter Wing, which definitely helped us out a lot,” she said.
Brown was the only female out of the 28 soldiers participating in the event. The next two days will consist of a tactical road march as well as an oral exam.
Command Sgt. Major Kristopher Dyer says the physical and mental stress in the competition mirrors what soldiers would see in combat.
“Everything that they do will be everything they would do overseas or in an emergency stateside,” he said.
Dyer says the State Partnership Program with the Czech Republic and Chile helps build stronger international relationships that could help in the future.
“One day eventually, if we’re out on the battlefield together, we’ll be able to communicate effectively,” he said. “They’re going to know how we operate. We know how they operate.”
Sgt. Wladimir Silva from Chile was first to finish in the two-mile race for the physical fitness test. Staff Sgt. Jan Hronek from the Czech Republic said he saw many similarities between their soldiers and Texas soldiers.
“We really want to serve our country,” he said. “I see the patience. I see the will to be the best soldier.”
The winners of the Best Warrior Competition will be honored at a banquet in April. Winners from the Army National Guard will move on to represent Texas in regional and national competitions.