Guam Based Soldiers Cross the Pacific for Best Warrior Competition

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Fort Shafter Flats, Hawaii – After several hours traveling across nearly 4,000 miles of Pacific-blue ocean, two Guam-based Army Reservists arrived to compete in the Pacific Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition, held here and at Schofield Barracks, May 18-23.

Spc. Justin N. Trusso and Sgt. Jonathan P. Buasuwan, both with the 797th Engineer Company located in Barrigada, Guam, are battling nine other Soldiers in the week-long competition to see who takes the titles of Pacific Army Reserve Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

The participants represent the best Soldiers and NCOs from major subordinate units within the Pacific Army Reserve, which encompasses Alaska, American Samoa, Japan, Korea, Saipan, Guam and the Islands of Hawaii.
 
The participants drove their bodies to the limit in an effort to earn their highest possible score in the Army Physical Fitness Test. The Soldiers then spent the afternoon demonstrating their marksmanship skills in several pistol and rifle events and closed out the day’s events with a night-firing challenge.

[SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – Sgt. Jonathan P. Buasuwan, 797th Engineer Company, 411th Engineer Battalion, 9th Mission Support Command, fires an M4 carbine during the Pacific Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition, here, May 18. Buasuwan, from Yigo, Guam, is one of 11 Army Reserve Soldiers competing for the Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year titles. The winners of the weeklong event will go on to compete in the U.S. Army Reserve Command Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy, Wis. (Photo by Staff Sergeant Chanelcherie K. DeMello, 305th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)]

 “This is an opportunity for Soldiers to test themselves in how well they can endure warrior challenges and interaction with other Soldiers,” said Randall J. Harr, command sergeant major for the 303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and executive agent in charge of the BWC. “It’s a competition, but also a great bonding experience.”

In preparation, the competitors train for weeks and even go head-to-head against peers within their unit in order to qualify.

Trusso said he trained for several months before competing in his battalion’s competition, but never imagined coming out on top and having to represent his unit at a regional level.  

[SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – Spc. Justin N. Trusso, 797th Engineer Company, 411th Engineer Battalion, 9th Mission Support Command, fires an M4 carbine during the Pacific Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition, here, May 18. Trusso, from Barrigada, Guam, is one of 11 Army Reserve Soldiers competing for the Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year titles. The winners of the weeklong event will go on to compete in the U.S. Army Reserve Command Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy, Wis. (Photo by Staff Sergeant Chanelcherie K. DeMello, 305th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)]

For some competitors, accepting the challenge was just another stepping stone towards professional growth as a Soldier and a leader.

“In need of competitors I was asked to join at the last minute,” said Buasuwan. “I quickly glanced over my notes and accepted the challenge, because it (the competition) will let me know where I stand as a Soldier, and identify where I need to improve,” he said.

“This competition will help hone my skills,” Trusso said.

For the next few days, these Reservists will be pushed to their limits, physically and mentally. Remaining events include land navigation, modern Army combatives, an essay and board appearance, as well as a mystery event.

The top Pacific Army Reserve Soldier and NCO from this competition will be honored at an awards ceremony here, scheduled for May 23.

Those selected winners will move on to represent the Pacific Army Reserve at the U.S. Army Reserve Command BWC at Fort McCoy, Wis., later this year.

The 9th Mission Support Command is a U.S. Army Reserve command assigned to U.S. Army Pacific located at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. It serves as the headquarters for all Army Reserve Soldiers in the Pacific Theater, with major subordinate units in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Japan and Korea.