HomeMediaArticle Display

First Time: 173rd FW Airmen join Soldiers in Best Warrior competition

Best Warrior Competition

Oregon Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Jared Boyer, with 173rd Fighter Wing, finishes a low crawling obstacle during the 2018 Oregon National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea, Warrenton, Oregon, Aug. 17, 2018. The competitors from multiple Oregon National Guard units across the state were tested on physically and mentally demanding warrior tasks during the three-day event to determine the Soldier/Airman and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Best Warrior Competition

Oregon Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Jared Boyer, with 173rd Fighter Wing, fires an M9 pistol on a small arms challenge course during the 2018 Oregon National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Oregon, Aug. 17, 2018. The competitors from multiple Oregon National Guard units across the state were tested on physically and mentally demanding warrior tasks during the three-day event to determine the Soldier/Airman and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Best Warrior Competition

Oregon Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Jared Boyer, with 173rd Fighter Wing, completes the run portion of the Army Physical Fitness Test during the 2018 Oregon National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Oregon, on August 16, 2018. Competitors from Oregon National Guard units across the state were tested on physically and mentally demanding warrior tasks during the three-day event to determine the Soldier/Airman and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. This year was the first time Oregon Air National Guard service members participated in the competition. (Photo by 1st Lt. Jessica Clarke, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Best Warrior Competition

Oregon Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Jared Boyer (left), with 173rd Fighter Wing, and Oregon Army National Guard Sgt. Paul Mannelly, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, race to the finish line during the two-mile run portion of the 2018 Oregon National Guard Best Warrior Competition, Aug. 16, 2018, at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Oregon. The competitors from multiple Oregon National Guard units across the state were tested on physically and mentally demanding warrior tasks during the three-day event to determine the Soldier/Airman and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Best Warrior Competition

Oregon Air National Guard Senior Airman David Garcia, with 173rd Security Forces Squadron, crawls through a concertina wire obstacle while enduring smoke and CS tear gas during the 2018 Oregon National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Oregon, on August 18, 2018. Competitors from Oregon National Guard units across the state were tested on physically and mentally demanding warrior tasks during the three-day event to determine the Soldier/Airman and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. This year was the first time Oregon Air National Guard service members participated in the competition. (Photo by 1st Lt. Jessica Clarke, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Best Warrior Competition

Oregon Air National Guard Senior Airman David Garcia, with 173rd Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron, completes the two-mile run portion of the fitness test during the 2018 Oregon National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Oregon, Aug. 16, 2018. Competitors from Oregon National Guard units across the state were tested on physically and mentally demanding warrior tasks during the three-day event to determine the Soldier/Airman and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. This year was the first time Oregon Air National Guard service members participated in the competition. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Best Warrior Competition

Oregon Air National Guard Senior Airman David Garcia, with 173rd Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron, runs toward the finish line during the Omaha Beach event as part of the 2018 Oregon National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Oregon, on August 18, 2018. The competitors from multiple Oregon National Guard units across the state were tested on physically and mentally demanding warrior tasks during the three-day event to determine the Soldier/Airman and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Best Warrior Competition

Oregon Army and Air National Guardsmen high crawl through the Pacific Ocean surf during the Omaha Beach event as part of the 2018 Oregon National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Oregon, on August 18, 2018. The competitors from multiple Oregon National Guard units across the state were tested on physically and mentally demanding warrior tasks during the three-day event to determine the Soldier/Airman and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Best Warrior Competition

Oregon Air National Guard Senior Airman David Garcia, with 173rd Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron, throws a grenade toward a target as part of the 2018 Oregon National Guard Best Warrior Competition, Aug. 18, 2018, at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Oregon. The competitors from multiple Oregon National Guard units across the state were tested on physically and mentally demanding warrior tasks during the three-day event to determine the Soldier/Airman and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Best Warrior Competition
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 10 of 16

Oregon Army and Air National Guardsmen pause for a group photograph upon completing an early morning 10-mile ruck march along the Oregon coast as part of the 2018 Oregon National Guard Best Warrior Competition in Warrenton, Oregon, Aug. 18, 2018. The competitors from multiple Oregon National Guard units across the state were tested on physically and mentally demanding warrior tasks during the three-day event to determine the Soldier/Airman and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Best Warrior Competition
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 11 of 16

Oregon Air National Guard Senior Airman David Garcia, with the 173rd Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron, finishes a 10-mile ruck march during the 2018 Oregon National Guard Best Warrior Competition, Aug. 18, 2018, in Warrenton, Oregon. The competitors from multiple Oregon National Guard units across the state were tested on physically and mentally demanding warrior tasks during the three-day event to determine the Soldier/Airman and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Best Warrior Competition
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 12 of 16

Oregon Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Jared Boyer, with 173 Fighter Wing, plots coordinates to call for fire support during the 2018 Oregon National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Oregon, on August 17, 2018. Competitors from Oregon National Guard units across the state were tested on physically and mentally demanding warrior tasks during the three-day event to determine the Soldier/Airman and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. This year was the first time Oregon Air National Guard service members participated in the competition. (Photo by 1st Lt. Jessica Clarke, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Best Warrior Competition
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 13 of 16

Oregon Air National Guard Senior Airman David Garcia, with 173rd Security Forces Squadron, maneuvers through the obstacle course during the 2018 Oregon National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Oregon, on August 17, 2018. Competitors from Oregon National Guard units across the state were tested on physically and mentally demanding warrior tasks during the three-day event to determine the Soldier/Airman and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Best Warrior Competition
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 14 of 16

Oregon Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Jared Boyer, with 173rd Fighter Wing, navigates a rope obstacle during the 2018 Oregon National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Oregon, on August 17, 2018. Competitors from Oregon National Guard units across the state were tested on physically and mentally demanding warrior tasks during the three-day event to determine the Soldier/Airman and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Best Warrior Competition
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 15 of 16

Oregon Air National Guard Senior Airman David Garcia, with 173rd Security Forces Squadron, fires the M9 pistol during the 2018 Oregon National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Oregon, on August 17, 2018. Competitors from Oregon National Guard units across the state were tested on physically and mentally demanding warrior tasks during the three-day event to determine the Soldier/Airman and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. This year was the first time Oregon Air National Guard service members participated in the competition. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Best Warrior Competition
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 16 of 16

Oregon Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Jared Boyer, with 173rd Fighter Wing, climbs through ‘The Weaver’ at the obstacle course during the 2018 Oregon National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Oregon, Aug. 17, 2018. The competitors from multiple Oregon National Guard units across the state were tested on physically and mentally demanding warrior tasks during the three-day event to determine the Soldier/Airman and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

WARRENTON, Ore. -- For the first time two Oregon Air National Guardsmen competed in the Oregon Army National Guard’s Best Warrior Competition in late August 2018.

This is the first year the competition was opened to the Army’s sister service, and Tech. Sgt. Jared Boyer and Senior Airman David Garcia, both with the 173rd Fighter Wing, were able to join the Soldiers at Camp Rilea, near Warrenton Ore., for the grueling competition and experience what skills the U.S. Army prizes in its Soldiers.

“I really did it to test myself—it was a personal challenge,” says Senior Airman David Garcia, a security forces Airman.

He describes the hardest part for him personally is pushing through the moment when he started to feel like, “I don’t want to be here anymore.”

He said that moment arrived when he was low-crawling through a maze of razor wire trying to avoid the clouds of CS (tear) gas from canisters placed around the obstacle.

“Someone threw a canister and it sprayed me right in the face,” which causes him to cough so violently he can get physically ill. “I’m really sensitive to it, but the best way to get out of there is to hurry-up and finish,” he says.

He completed that section and was ready to move on.   As it turned out, Garcia said that was the hardest part of the whole ordeal and both he and Tech. Sgt. Jared Boyer finished all the other events.

While neither of them won the competition outright, they both performed well enough to win individual events. Boyer placed first in the 10-mile ruck march, the final event of the competition, and Garcia was the top marksman in the handgun “Stress Shoot” shooting event.

For these Airmen to step gracefully into this competition was no accident. One former Soldier, Senior Master Sgt. Ross Hawkins, with the 173rd Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron, knows how daunting it is.

“The Best Warrior Competition is extremely difficult,” he says.  It involves very little sleep, extensive physical exertion, and requires mental resilience.

“Everything gets that much more difficult after a night without sleep and aching muscles,” says Ross. “You start to lose focus and fine-motor skills the longer and harder you go, making every task a burden. It really comes down to preparation, determination, and grit to get yourself across the finish line.”

With that in mind he designed a local try-out that would both select the best candidates to represent the wing and equip them with first-hand knowledge of what they were volunteering for.

“It was extremely important for our Airmen to perform well at the competition,” he says. “Our competitors had to go out and make a first impression—that we take this competition seriously, that we are willing to work hard, and that we can have fun while competing alongside our Army counterparts. I think they more-than did that.”

The Command Senior Enlisted Leader for the Oregon National Guard, Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Foesch, agreed. He said the Airmen performed well and exceeded his expectations during a coining ceremony for both Boyer and Garcia and the members of the Kingsley Field team.

For Tech. Sgt. Jared Boyer, though it’s far outside his daily responsibilities in the finance office, he said he relished the opportunity to experience what core tasks a Soldier brings to the battle field. His physical readiness was among the best in the competition and given the chance to compete next year he would try to prepare for some of the events he’s very new to, such as land navigation. He sums it up saying he wouldn’t change a thing.

“It is Army’s world—they are offering us a sample—I hope it stays Army-centric and we can adapt,” adding that it’s piqued his interest in a joint deployment down the road.

If this year is any indicator it looks as though Airmen will be invited to participate in the Best Warrior competition down the road; if so, it’s in no small part to the combined efforts of Boyer and Garcia and the team that helped them prepare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Us

ANG Public Affairs does not act as an operator service. They do not have the capability to redirect incoming calls to other offices. Please contact the base operator for these services. For a RECRUITER click HERE

Base Operator 301-981-1110

ANG Public Affairs
3500 Fetchet Avenue
Joint Base Andrews, MD 20762
(240) 612-9494

NGB Press Desk
703-601-6767

NGB Press Desk After-Hours
703-627-7273
ngbpa.oncall@mail.mil