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Prince George
County, VA

Warriors strive to be the best

SPC Rochelle Prince-Krueger, DVIDS

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Task Force Provider-Soldiers are preparing for an upcoming competition that will test their Army aptitude and technical and tactical expertise.

Even in the midst of a deployment to Afghanistan, these warriors are on a mission to prove they are second to none.

“It’s all about competition,” said Staff Sgt. Andrew Webb, a squad leader with the 3rd Sustainment Brigade’s personal security detachment and one of four ‘Providers’ training for an upcoming Best Warrior competition at Kandahar Airfield. “This is another way to get to do something that not everyone else gets the opportunity to do.”

Webb scores the maximum on his Army Physical Fitness Test and proficient when it comes to Army marksmanship. He’s now perfecting his warrior tasks and individual soldier skills like radio communication, hand-to-hand combat and land navigation.

These tasks and several others, along with a board interview and comprehensive written exam are expected at the upcoming 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) competition in which Webb is preparing for.

However, he has some healthy competition like Sgt. Cassandra Bustillo, a motor transport operator with the 541st Transportation Company who can disassemble and reassemble an M-16 rifle in just under a minute and a half—in the dark.

“Weapons fascinate me,” said Bustillo, a Somerton, Ariz., native, deployed to Forward Operating Base Shindand. “I was a gunner on my last deployment in 2010, and my former team leader used to drill weapons tactics into to me, so it’s like second nature to me now. I won the last couple of (company and battalion-level) boards in Shindand so my unit flew me (to Kandahar) to compete.”

The competition is open to soldiers in all Army components—and Connecticut National Guardsman, Spc. Ron Minas, an all-wheeled vehicle mechanic with the 1048th Transportation Company, said he is taking full advantage of the opportunity.

“I’m always up for competition,” he said. “If I don’t win the competition, at least I won something—a little bit of knowledge and experience,” said Minas, a New Britain, Conn., native. “I’m progressing and doing everything I have to do so far.”

Helping Minas and the all other Providers who plan to compete is Staff Sgt. Joshua Erickson, who facilitated the training that included a Combatives certification and refresher course along with battle drills. Webb, a native of Prince George County, Va., said it’s important to train as he would fight.

“It’s a matter of how bad you want it,” he said. “If you want it, you will find a way to make it happen. Take that chance on yourself; don’t sit in the shadow, be recognized for the great things you do.”

The 311th ESC-sponsored Best Warrior competition is slated for the end of the month.

This work, Warriors strive to be the best, by SPC Rochelle Prince-Krueger, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on