Minnesotan advances to finals, wins soldier competition at Camp Ripley
CAMP RIPLEY--Staff Sgt. Daniel Sebo of Savage won in his category at the Best Warrior Competition and will advance to the finals in Virginia. Fourteen of the Army National Guard's most elite soldiers gathered at Camp Ripley Training Center July 1...
CAMP RIPLEY-Staff Sgt. Daniel Sebo of Savage won in his category at the Best Warrior Competition and will advance to the finals in Virginia.
Fourteen of the Army National Guard's most elite soldiers gathered at Camp Ripley Training Center July 17-20 to determine who would compete in the all-Army Best Warrior Competition later this year.
Each competitor was recognized for the events in which they came in on top, but only one non-commissioned officer and one enlisted man advanced to the all-Army Best Warrior Competition in Fort A.P. Hill, Va., in October: Sebo, of the Minnesota National Guard, and Sgt. Grant Reimers of the Nevada National Guard.
"It was a bit of a surprise," Sebo said in a news release. "(This) was one of the more challenging events I've ever done. I've competed in several Ironman (triathlons) in the past and, truthfully, training and competing in the Best Warrior Competition was right up there, if not above, when it comes to the stressors they place on us and the level of competition we're against."
"Be lethal," said Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Kepner of the Army National Guard to the soldiers advancing in the competition, the release stated. "When you go to the all-Army competition, be hazardous, be destructive, be lethal."
Kepner explained to the crowd the definition of lethality and how it pertains to the mission of the military and to the competition.
Broken into seven regions throughout the U.S., the four-day competition tested the top non-commissioned officers and enlisted soldiers in their physical and mental endurance. To make things more interesting, the competition organizers kept the events secret until the soldiers arrived at each event location.
Day One started immediately after the opening ceremony with an essay and written exam to test the soldiers' competencies on a variety of Army topics. Other events were scheduled but due to inclement weather, those events were pushed to the following day.
Day Two would test the soldiers' physical endurance. The day kicked off with an Army physical fitness test and a combat run of unknown distance, in full combat gear, and included a few interesting obstacles. The day continued with weapons ranges, a confidence course, a medical emergency simulation and basic warrior tasks and battle drills.
Day Three included land navigation and crew-served weapons ranges. They were also tested on reaction to media on the battlefield and calling in and adjusting artillery fire.
Day Four started with a 13-mile ruck march at Itasca State Park with a public reception at the Mississippi River headwaters. The competition returned to Camp Ripley, where each competitor stood before a number of command sergeants major for the soldier and non-commissioned officer boards, the final graded event. The day wrapped up with the awards ceremony.
"The camaraderie we had and the connections we built with just the caliber of NCOs (non-commissioned officers) and soldiers that were competing are going to be relationships and friendships that I'm planning on maintaining," Sebo said in the release.
As for the next competition?
"I feel I'm as well prepared as I can be," Sebo said, "but I'm not going to stop studying or training."