NEWS | Sept. 5, 2019

U.S. Army Pacific Best Warriors train for Army competition

By Sgt. Ian Vega-Cerezo

CAMP CASEY, Republic of Korea -- The 2nd Infantry Division/Republic of Korea-U.S. Combined Division hosted a rigorous train up for the U.S. Army Best Warrior Competition at Rodriguez Live Fire Complex, August 27-28.

The train up was held to give USARPAC Best Warriors, Sgt. Jeremy Kimbrough, an information technology specialist with 2ID/RUCD; and Spc. Alexander Vandermark, a patriot missile system repairer from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, some training to help them prepare for the U.S. Army Best Warrior Competition at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., and the Pentagon from Oct. 6 to Oct. 11, 2019.

"The training consisted of keeping in shape and rucking which is really strenuous," said Kimbrough. "There are obstacle courses which we try to complete in the most efficient and quick way and we also have weapons systems that we train on and board material."

The training Kimbrough and Vandermark received went more in-depth than the battle drills that are typical of team or squad based training.

"The events that we're running are not like your typical squad-team exercise lanes that a platoon or a squad would run," said Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Dillon, operations NCO, Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 2ID/RUCD. "We're running scenario-based training covering 20 different scenarios from urban land navigation, weapons, survive evade resist escape (SERE) training and a multitude of events that they may be tested on at the Army Best Warrior Competition this October."

Both competitors have their own motivations driving them through the training and upcoming competition.

"The reason I started Best Warrior was to see how far I could go at first," said Vandermark. "Somewhere down the line after I won the 94th competition, I decided the training I was getting was pretty good. So I was looking to retain it to bring the skills I learned back to my unit."
"I'm a competitor," said Kimbrough. "That keeps me motivated because I don't really like to lose. Winning matters."