143d ESC 2017 BEST WARRIOR COMPETITION, PART 4: PRIDE
CAMP BLANDING, Fla. – After a punishing, 72-hour challenge that started with an Army Physical Fitness Test and weapons qualification, continued with warrior skill stations and an air assault obstacle course, and concluded with a 10-mile ruck march and sergeants major appearance board, 12 Army Reserve Soldiers can proudly say they completed the 2017 143d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Best Warrior Competition.
Brig. Gen. Deborah L. Army Brig. Gen. Deborah L. Kotulich, commanding general, 143d ESC, personally congratulated the participants during an awards ceremony conducted March 11, 2017, at Camp Blanding, Fla.
“I am thrilled by what you did to get here and impressed by what you accomplished here,” said Kotulich, a career officer who completed Air Assault school while attending West Point and, decades later, earned the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency. “I encourage everyone to share your experiences with your fellow Soldiers. The skills you demonstrated during this competition may one day save your life or the lives your battle buddies in combat.”
Although all 12 Soldiers received and deserved high praise from the 143d ESC’s senior leadership, only two earned the right to earn the title, “Best Warrior.”
Spc. Alisha Howell, an Orlando, Fla., native serving as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear specialist at Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 143d ESC, won first place in the Soldier category, while Sgt. James A. Smith, a Bay Springs, Miss., native assigned to the 647th Transportation Company as a motor transport operator, took home the trophy in the noncommissioned officer category. Howell and Smith will leave for New Orleans in April to compete at the 377th Theater Sustainment Command level.
“I am confident that these two Soldiers will proudly represent the 143d ESC at the next level,” said Kotulich. “I am also especially honored to be associated with every Soldier here who took precious time from his or her job, school and family to participate and support this annual event. Your courage and commitment exemplify the finest qualities of an Army Reserve Soldier.”
Story by Sgt. John L. Carkeet IV, 143d ESC
Photos by Sgt. John L. Carkeet IV, 143d ESC, and Spc. Aaron Barnes, 321st MI BN