Spc. Jeremy R. Byrd and Staff Sgt. Eric G. Cutchall represented the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) in the Military District of Washington’s (MDW) Best Warrior Competition at Fort A.P. Hill in Bowling Green, Virginia, held August 15, 2016 through August 19, 2016.
Byrd and Cutchall became The Old Guard Best Warriors in a competition held at Fort A.P. Hill in July. Winning that competition allowed them entry into the MDW level.
Day two of the MDW competition began before dawn.
“This morning we started by getting on a blackhawk,” said Byrd. “We rode around a little bit, got off and then did a nine-mile ruck march.”
Byrd, from Delta Company 1/3, was able to complete the march in two hours and 36 minutes.
Cutchall completed his ruck march in two hours 42 minutes.
The ruck march course at Fort A.P. Hill is challenging.
“Its pretty bad, a lot of hills on this one,” said Byrd.
Though the competition is taking place during a heat wave of 90° temperatures, Byrd said the heat hasn’t played too much of a factor.
Cutchall, a firing party commander from Charlie Company 1/3, said the heat hasn’t bothered him. Cucthall attributed his heat resilience to growing up in Louisiana.
The competition generally tested level one tasks, so the challenge is summoning the willpower to push through physically tough events like the ruck march.
The Best Warrior Competition challenges competitors through a series of tests including an Army Physical Fitness test, answering a reporters questions in a simulated interview and qualifying with the M-16/M-4 rifle, M9 pistol and M240B and M249 machine guns.
“These are my strongest events,” said Cutchall. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to compete.”
A final test is a board comprised of Sergeant Majors.
The 2016 Best Warriors for the Military District of Washington region are Sgt. Stephen M. Johnson, 53rd Signal Battalion and Spc Benjamin L. Moon of the Criminal Investigation Command.