OAHU, Hawaii (5/2/10) – Competing against seven other Citizen-Soldiers from six states and one territory, Colorado Army National Guard Spc. Ryan Teeter, 24, from Westminster, Colo., won the 2010 Region 7 Army National Guard Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year “Best Warrior” Competition.
Teeter represents Company D, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group.
“I am honored to represent my unit, my state and myself,” Teter said. “The entire competition was a really well-run operation with lots of good events and I am going to continue to strive forward and maintain a high level of physical fitness and hone in on my skill levels to continue to be a good Soldier.”
Accompanying Teter to Hawaii for the competition was COARNG Staff Sgt. Robert Henry, 33, from the 168th Regional Training Institute, Colorado Springs, Colo. Henry competed against seven noncommissioned officers for the NCO of the Year title. Although Henry didn’t take first place in the overall competition (won by Staff Sgt. Michael East of the California Army National Guard) he did take home first place in the written examination segment of the challenge.
“I’m glad I got to compete,” Henry said. “I’m really proud of Spc. Teter and how he represented the Colorado Army National Guard. Both Teter and his sponsor, Staff Sgt. (Michael) Shumate, are first-class individuals. What I got most out of Hawaii was seeing a bunch of top-notch NCOs and junior enlisted Soldiers really representing their states very well.”
Spanning the course of three days, the SOY and NCOY competition, held at Bellows Air Station and Schofield Barracks, put 16 Soldiers and NCOs through a gauntlet of activities and events that included everything from a 2-mile ruck march to a written test about general Army information.
“It’s all just a matter of being consistent across all of your events,” Teter said. “I felt my strongest were the Army warrior tasks and the (appearance) board.”
One Soldier and one NCO were chosen from Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico to test their physical and mental abilities in seven warrior-task based events: a physical fitness test, a weapons qualification that assessed the Soldiers’ marksmanship with either an M16 or an M4 rifle, a day and night land navigation course, a hands-on Army warrior task course that was conducted at a military operations in urban terrain site, a written test and an appearance board.
“I spent more time studying for the appearance board than anything else,” Henry said of an event that was worth the most points in the competition. “It turned out to be 10 questions and eight of them were about current events.”
Accompanying Teter and Henry were their military sponsors, Shumate, also of Company D, 5/19th SFG, and Sgt. 1st Class Carlos Gonzales of Headquarters Company, 168th Regimental Training Institute, who cheered from the sidelines and mentored their Soldiers.
“As an NCO, you’re developing your team and your Soldiers and even though they are not training per se, they are being tested,” said Shumate, Teter’s noncommissioned officer in charge. “This has been a privilege to be my Soldier’s sponsor. I hope he gains more confidence and reinforcement so that he can function in these environments in the future.”
Teter will now compete in the 2010 Army National Guard’s Best Warrior Competition at Fort Benning, Ga., in August. If victorious there, he will move onto the Army Best Warrior Competition at Fort Lee, Va., in October.
“There are no losers at all here today. They (the competitors) are all winners and we can onlypick one NCO and one Soldier to move on,” said COARNG State Command Sgt. Maj. Dan Lousberg, who observed and evaluated the competitors throughout the competition. “These Soldiers represent the best of the best we have in the Guard. I personally couldn’t be any prouder of both of our two COARNG Soldiers who laid it all on the line. Both Staff Sgt. Henry and Spc. Teeter are heroes I would readily trust my life with at any time.”