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ARNORTH Soldiers vie for ‘Best Warrior’ slot

By Staff Sgt. Tomora Nance | U.S. Army North Public Affairs | June 16, 2017

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HUSTON, Texas —

Every year, Soldiers across the Army vie to call themselves the best warriors during an intense competition, and this year is no different.

After enduring four long days of intense physical and mental tests, two Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston Soldiers from U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) and two Soldiers from the U.S. Army Installation Management Command garnered the title of “Best Warrior” competitor.

A total of six noncommissioned officers and six junior enlisted Soldiers competed for the two slots for their respective commands June 11-14 during a multi-event competition.

The competition included a physical fitness test, an obstacle course, written test, day and night land navigation course, weapons qualification and basic warrior’s skills lanes which took place at JBSA-Camp Bullis. At JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, competitors appeared before a panel of senior noncommissioned officers for a knowledge evaluation board. 

This competition determined who would go on to compete at the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Best Warrior Competition at the end of July, which includes five major commands.

“I never thought I’d be a part of a Best Warrior Competition,” said Staff Sgt. Jody McIlroy, a signal intelligence analyst with U.S. Army North. “However, I’m glad that I made it through and pushed myself to do my very best. I was looking for a challenge, and I found the internal motivation to keep pushing me forward.”

McIlroy graduated from Fort Hood’s Air Assault course two weeks before this competition.

“It was a little tough coming out of Air Assault school; I felt like I haven’t given my body a chance to rest,” the 12-year veteran said. “It helped with the physical endurance portion of the competition.”

Not every Soldier experienced an easy time when it came to the physical fitness portion of the competition.

“I didn’t do as well on the PT test as I would’ve hoped, even if it was during the hottest portion of the day, but I did my best anyway,” said Spc. Kyle Noonan, with the 323rd Army Band “Fort Sam’s Own.” “If I have the opportunity to advance to the next competition, I will definitely work hard on physical training.”

Noonan has served in the military for 18 months.

Both McIlroy and Noonan won the positions to compete for ARNORTH during July’s competition. They both offered advice to anyone who wants to compete in the future.

“I would advise others to train hard and ensure they are mentally and physically prepared for the obstacles you have to overcome during the competition because it is definitely not easy,” McIlroy said.

“Just do it,” Noonan said. “Even though the competition is tough, it is self-rewarding and a fulfilling opportunity. I hope more Soldiers compete in the future.”

“Self-motivation is the key to success,” McIlroy added.