77th Quartermaster Group holds first best warrior competition

Soldiers engage targets with an air-powered and digital-enhanced M4 carbine rifle using the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000 during the 77th Quartermaster Group’s Best Warrior Competition at Fort Bliss Friday. (Right photo) Spc. Brian Casillas, right, and Sgt. Jesus Rios, both assigned to first platoon, 356th Transportation Company, pose for a photo Sunday after winning the titles of best Soldier and best noncommissioned officer, respectively, in the first 77th Quartermaster Group’s Best Warrior Competition at Fort Bliss and El Paso. Photos by Maj. Erika Moreno, 647th RSG PAO.

Soldiers engage targets with an air-powered and digital-enhanced M4 carbine rifle using the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000 during the 77th Quartermaster Group’s Best Warrior Competition at Fort Bliss Friday. Photos by Maj. Erika Moreno, 647th RSG PAO.

By Maj. Erika Moreno, 647th RSG PAO:

(El Paso, Texas, Jan. 11, 2018)

The 77th Quartermaster Group, 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), U.S. Army Reserve, conducted its first best warrior competition in Fort Bliss and El Paso from Jan. 4 through Sunday.

Over the four-day competition, three Soldiers and three noncommissioned officers assigned to the 77th Quartermaster Group competed in nine events to earn the prestige of representing the group at the 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) competition planned for Feb. 9 through 11 in San Antonio.

Command Sgt. Maj. Kirk Melahn, assigned to the 77th QM Group, said he was happy to see the competition’s six contestants give it their best.

“The 77th QM Group is a team that consists of many units with different strengths and sizes,” Melahn said. “This boiled down to looking at the individual and giving them the opportunity to step forward and put their best foot forward. It gave those contestants that ability to do that.”

The competition was an event where units selected their best Soldier to compete against Soldiers from other units to hold the honor and move to a higher command’s competition.

Spc. Brian Casillas, assigned to the 356th Transportation Company, 383rd Quartermaster Battalion, disassembles and reassembles an M4 carbine rifle in record time to earn points during the 77th Quartermaster Group, U.S. Army Reserves, Best Warrior Competition at Fort Bliss, Saturday.

Spc. Brian Casillas, assigned to first platoon, 356th Transportation Company, 383rd Quartermaster Battalion, won the title of best Soldier.

Casillas said winning the competition provides him the opportunity “to advance to his goal of being the best Soldier I can be, also helping others and being a good role model for others.”

Sgt. Jesus Rios, an NCO also assigned to first platoon in the 356th Trans. Co., 383rd QM Bn., won the title of best NCO.

Rios said he has wanted to participate in a competition like this for more than four years. However, this was his first opportunity to participate and he wanted to take what he learned and provide motivation to grow the event next year.

The nine events consisted of the Army Physical Fitness Test, a land navigation course, an M4 carbine rifle qualification on the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000, a disassembly and reassembly event using the M4 carbine rifle and M9 pistol, a six-mile ruck march, a written essay and a leadership board in front of five sergeants major and master sergeants who asked military questions and conducted an Army Service Uniform inspection.

Organizers also evaluated four basic battle drills, including 9-line medevac procedures, a weapons function check, reacting to a nuclear, biological and chemical contamination, and setting up and communicating on a Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) Combat Net Radio (CNR).

Spc. Brian Casillas, right, and Sgt. Jesus Rios, both assigned to first platoon, 356th Transportation Company, pose for a photo Sunday after winning the titles of best Soldier and best noncommissioned officer, respectively, in the first 77th Quartermaster Group’s Best Warrior Competition at Fort Bliss and El Paso.

Spc. Jose Chavez, assigned to first platoon, 263rd Quartermaster Company, 383rd QM Bn., said the NCOs and Soldiers participating in the events are “more than competitors; we are a family. We take care of each other and are learning from our experience here.”

The competition was a first for the 77th QM Group, which is transitioning from the 647th Regional Support Group, U.S. Army Reserves (which has relocated to another state). The 77th QM Group is still in carrier status and has assumed command of units in six cities from Texas to New Mexico previously assigned to the 647th Regional Support Group.