BASTROP, Texas - More than a dozen soldiers laced up their boots Saturday, preparing for the final round of the Best Warrior Competition.
"The whole goal of this entire competition is to create readiness for our soldiers and knowing this is what are my weaknesses, what are my strengths? What can I play towards?" said Michael Cornitius, Command Senior, Texas Military Department.
Men and women participated in obstacles testing their strength, speed, agility and their knowledge of the military.
"The thing about the Best Warrior Competition is it test an array of different specific skill sets so people who may be strong in some things are weak in others," said David Hall, Master Sergeant, Regiment Quality Assurance for RTI. “If you are not prepared for something like this, blisters on the feet, body being worn out, it's very taxing on the back, so physical preparedness is important.
Over the years the competition expanded to include Czech and Chilean armed forces. "We have a partnership between those two nations and what we want to do is build bonds so we can strengthen our fighting force," said Hall.
Some warriors spend months preparing, army specialist Jacob Arndt said he anticipated the toughest relay to be the road march, carrying 30-pounds along a challenging route. But this year's surprise element was water testing the soldier’s endurance.
"The hardest part that I just did and this is actually I didn't expect it was the water,” said Arndt. “I did not expect the water to burn me out that badly especially transitioning into the road march."
Fortunately, Arndt came in second place, winners from seven scored-events across multiple days will not only have bragging rights but move on to the regional level.