NEWS | Jan. 8, 2020

The Best Warriors of Fire and Sword

By Master Sgt. Clint Markland 640th Regiment, Regional Training Institute

The 640th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, conducted a robust Best Warrior Competition on January 4-5, 2020, at Camp Williams, Utah, to select and train the best Soldier, Noncommissioned Officer, and Senior NCO to compete at the state level. Competitors were rated on their physical fitness, Army Warrior Tasks, knowledge of the NCO Creed, U.S. Army History, current events, leadership and Army doctrine.

"The Best Warrior Competition is a chance for the best and brightest Soldiers to shine even brighter,” said A. Scott Evans, Command Sgt. Maj., 640th RTI. “This competition is challenging, both physically and mentally, and has consistently been won by the highest caliber leaders in the Utah National Guard."

The first day of the competition involved several lanes for basic soldiering skills, to include land navigation, calling for fire, and conducting First Aid. The next day, the competitors began by taking the new Army Combat Fitness Test, then conducted an 8.5 kilometer ruck march through undulating terrain, and finished with an evaluation board back at the RTI to test their knowledge.

The title of the 640th RTI Best Warrior Competition’s NCO of the Year went to Staff Sgt. Travis Sams, a Basic Leader Course instructor. Sams has dedicated himself to a career in developing others and shaping the future. An Artilleryman by trade, he has held multiple positions on Paladin gun lines throughout 65th Field Artillery Brigade. When Sams is not instructing or ruck marching, he could be found volunteering for additional duties. He has established himself as the "go-to" NCO for funeral honor, color guards, and military displays.

Master Sgt. Christopher Caldwell claimed the title of 640th RTI Senior NCO of the Year. Caldwell is a Chief Signal Intelligence Sergeant, currently serving as the 4th Battalion 640th Regiment RTI noncommissioned officer in charge. As a leader, he has set the example of excellence through personal accountability and dedication to physical fitness. He is an avid runner who finds time to develop himself every day.

These Soldiers will go on to compete against other Utah National Guard Soldiers and Airmen at the state level, for a chance to go on to the Regional Best Warrior Competition to be held in Guam this year, and National Best Warrior Competition in Mississippi.