Best Warrior Competition hosts first 'Airman Warriors'
By Staff Sgt. Lindsey Soulsby, 120th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office
/ Published September 29, 2016
GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- Two Airmen from the Montana Air National Guard secured second and third place Sept. 8-11 during the Montana National Guard "Best Warrior" competition at Fort Harrison, Montana.
Senior Airman Brendan O'Neill earned second place in the BWC in the enlisted category. He is assigned to the 120th Civil Engineer Squadron.
Staff Sgt. Jason Spring placed third among the NCO's. He is assigned to the 120th Security Forces Squadron.
Spring crossed the finish line of the final 12-mile ruck first and O'Neill followed close behind.
"I can confidently state that our Airmen excelled in the obstacle course, physical stamina event and ruck," said Command Chief Master Sergeant Tim L. Zumbrun, state command chief. "Additionally, both individuals also did very well in the stress shoot, which primarily focused on firearms proficiency utilizing the M4 rifle and M9 pistol."
Ten Soldiers and two Airmen participated in the three-day competition.
The challenge included a formal board, written test, essay, service dress inspection, water events and the ruck that spanned two days, O'Neill called it nerve-wracking.
"All of the competitors hit different points where they were exhausted or tired and had to dig down and find that reserve to keep going," said Army Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Perkio. "You have to be in good shape, don't get me wrong, but I think it's more a mental thing than it is a physical thing."
Each event moved into the next leaving little time for sleep.
With only three hours of sleep, it was cool to see I could break past those limits," said O'Neill.
The state's top enlisted Soldier said Spring and O'Neill integrated well with the Army National Guard competitors.
"You couldn't have picked two better Airmen to represent the ANG. They fit right in with everybody, they're in great shape and challenging our Soldiers in new ways," said Perkio.
The state added Airmen to the challenge this year, which normally singles out Soldiers for the state's NCO and Soldier of the year.
Zumbrun said that Spring and O'Neill were up for the challenge.
"It is very apparent that they earned the admiration and respect of our Army counterparts and their fellow competitors, as well as the appreciation of leadership within both the Air and Army National Guard leadership teams," said Zumbrun.