Category Archives: Photo story

Old Guard sweeps MDW Best Warrior Competition

Sgt. Robert Keifer, infantryman, Honor Guard Company, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), administers a tourniquet to a simulated injured Soldier’s leg during the Military District of Washington’s [MDW] Best Warrior Competition, July 17, at Fort A.P. Hill, Va. Keifer outperformed six noncommissioned officers [NCO] to earn the title of the MDW NCO of the year. He will advance to the Department of the Army level this October at Fort Lee, Va. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Luisito Brooks)

Sgt. Robert Keifer, infantryman, Honor Guard Company, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), administers a tourniquet to a simulated injured Soldier’s leg during the Military District of Washington’s [MDW] Best Warrior Competition, July 17, at Fort A.P. Hill, Va.

 

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Luisito Brooks

Two Soldiers assigned to the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), swept opposing competition during the 2013 Military District of Washington’s Best Warrior Competition; earning the titles of the MDW noncommissioned officer and Soldier of the year.

“As I stood there waiting, I was pretty nervous until they called my name as the winner,” said Sgt. Robert Keifer, who was named the NCO of the year. “I was excited and proud that all the hard work paid off.”

The competition was held, July 15-19, at Fort A.P. Hill, Va.

During the competition, seven noncommissioned officers and three Soldiers were tested on basic and advanced warrior tasks and battle drills, day and night land navigation, urban warfare simulations, physical fitness, rifle qualification, a written exam, a ruck march and a board interview.

The competition was no walk in the park according to Keifer, who said it was one of the toughest things he has been a part of.

“I have been in a couple events like this, but at this level, you see the best out here. The key for my success was to keep focus throughout the week,” said Keifer, infantryman, Honor Guard Company. “Not only were we battling against each other, we were battling the heat as well. We had to make sure we ate and stayed hydrated.”

However, with water and other proper safety precautions in place, Soldiers demonstrated their mental and physical skills in temperatures well into the 90s. In the end, only two found themselves on top.

Spc. Michael Sands, infantryman, Delta Company, 1st Bn, 3d U.S. Inf. Regt. (The Old Guard), assembles four types of weapon systems during the MDW Best Warrior Competition.

Spc. Michael Sands, infantryman, Delta Company, 1st Bn, 3d U.S. Inf. Regt. (The Old Guard), assembles four types of weapon systems during the MDW Best Warrior Competition.

Spc. Michael Sands, MDW Soldier of the year, was nearly speechless when explaining how it felt to claim one of the coveted spots.

“I can’t put it into words,” said Sands, infantryman, Delta Company. “It’s very special. I felt privileged just to be selected.”

Sands said it was an added bonus wining alongside a fellow Old Guard Soldier.

“It was really rewarding to see both of us win. The Old Guard delivered a one, two punch,” said Sands, “He and I would study as often as possible to make sure we had things memorized. We really worked hard together to get to this point.”

Keifer agreed it was great to win with someone from the same unit.

“It’s like winning with my little brother,” said Keifer. “We have grown really close because of this experience. I am really looking forward to moving on and getting ready for the next competition. I’m glad The Old Guard will be represented at the next level.”

Keifer and Sands will compete in the Department of the Army’s BWC this October at Fort Lee, Va.

Sgt. Robert Keifer (left), infantryman, Honor Guard Company, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and Spc. Michael Sands, infantryman, Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), tackle a 5-mile road march during the Military District of Washington’s [MDW] Best Warrior Competition [BWC], July 17, at Fort A.P. Hill, Va. Keifer and Sands were named the MDW noncommissioned and Soldier of the year. They will represent The Old Guard at the Department of the Army’s BWC later this year. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Luisito Brooks)

Keifer (left) and Sands tackle a 5-mile road march during the MDW Best Warrior Competition July 17, at Fort A.P. Hill, Va. The two won Best NCO and Best Soldier, and will represent The Old Guard and MDW at the Department of the Army’s BWC in October.

 

Sgt. 1st Class James F. Grissom funeral

Soldiers from Bravo Company, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), carry the remains of Sgt. 1st Class James F. Grissom to his final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery, Va., May 20. Grissom, a native of Hayward, Ca. served with the 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). As a special forces Soldier, Grissom was a part of a highly-trained unit tasked to perform unconventional and often high-risk missions. He was awarded numerous medals for his dedication and commitment of service to include the Bronze Star. He died Mar. 21 from wounds suffered from small arms fire in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr.)

 

Columbarium Court No. 9 dedication

Columbarium Court No. 9 dedication

Staff Sgt. Michael Drake, infantryman, Delta Company, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), places the remains of Civil War veteran, Pvt. Lycurgus McCormack, inside of the new Columbarium Court No. 9 in Arlington National Cemetery, Va., May 9. A joint full honors committal service for six unclaimed remains of veterans from all branches of the Armed Forces were the first to be inurned at the new site. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jose Torres, Jr.)

Columbarium Court No. 9 dedication

Chaplain (Cpt.) Brandon Denning (left), 4th Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), receives a memorial flag in honor of Civil War veteran, Pvt. Lycurgus McCormack, from Spc. Alexander Lista, infantryman, Delta Company, during the dedication ceremony of Arlington National Cemetery’s new Columbarium Court No. 9, May 9. Six unclaimed remains of servicemembers from each branch of service were laid to rest in the new Columbarium during the ceremony. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jose Torres, Jr.)

 

Twilight Tattoo Validation

Twilight Tattoo Validation

The U.S. Army Drill Team, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), conducts the “Hat Band” move during the Twilight Tattoo validation performance on Summerall Field at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Apr. 26. The drill team is a precision drill platoon with the primary mission of showcasing the U.S. Army both nationally and internationally through routines with bayonet-tipped 1903 Springfield rifles. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr.)

Twilight Tattoo Validation

The Fife and Drum Corps, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), perform during the Twilight Tattoo validation on Summerall Field at Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall, Va., Apr. 26. Twilight Tattoo is an hour-long military pageant featuring Soldiers from The Old Guard and The U.S. Army Band. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr.)

 

2013 Cherry Blossom Parade

The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps [FDC], 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), march down Constitution Ave. during the Cherry Blossom Parade, Apr. 13, in Washington, D.C. One of the Army’s premier musical organizations, the FDC proudly carries on traditions that accompanied the birth of our Nation through their Revolutionary War-inspired uniforms, instruments and music. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Luisito Brooks)

The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps [FDC], 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), march down Constitution Ave. during the Cherry Blossom Parade, Apr. 13, in Washington, D.C. One of the Army’s premier musical organizations, the FDC proudly carries on traditions that accompanied the birth of our Nation through their Revolutionary War-inspired uniforms, instruments and music. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Luisito Brooks)

The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps’ [FDC], 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), drums line the sidewalk on Constitution Ave. in preparation for the Cherry Blossom Parade, Apr. 13, in Washington, D.C.  The FDC drums are specially handcrafted to display every battle streamer obtained by The Old Guard. The FDC is one of few Army bands to still use rope-tensioned drums like the ones used by the Continental Army during the American Revolution. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Luisito Brooks)

The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps’ [FDC], 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), drums line the sidewalk on Constitution Ave. in preparation for the Cherry Blossom Parade, Apr. 13, in Washington, D.C. The FDC drums are specially handcrafted to display every battle streamer obtained by The Old Guard. The FDC is one of few Army bands to still use rope-tensioned drums like the ones used by the Continental Army during the American Revolution. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Luisito Brooks)

Soldiers from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), prepare to march in the Cherry Blossom Parade, Apr. 13, in Washington, D.C. The parade ran along Constitution Ave., from 7th St. to 17th St., and is one of D.C.’s largest spectator events. Old Guard Soldiers regularly conduct ceremonies and special events in order to showcase the Army to the Nation and the world. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Luisito Brooks)

Soldiers from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), prepare to march in the Cherry Blossom Parade, Apr. 13, in Washington, D.C. The parade ran along Constitution Ave., from 7th St. to 17th St., and is one of D.C.’s largest spectator events. Old Guard Soldiers regularly conduct ceremonies and special events in order to showcase the Army to the Nation and the world. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Luisito Brooks)