Soldiers from units across the
1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley put their skills to the test June 10 at
the Victory Warrior Competition. Part of the “Big Red One’s” Victory Week, the
competition took five two-Soldier teams on a 12-mile road march across Fort Riley.
Along the way, Soldiers completed 10 tasks, including a hand-grenade toss, a
buddy carry, which simulated moving an injured Soldier, and, finally, a turn on
the firing range.
“It’s pretty tough,” said Capt.
Charles McMillian, intelligence officer, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment,
4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div., and organizer of the event.
“Everybody (who) completes this thing, I’m pretty proud of them.”
Sgt. Russell Waldien and Spc.
Cory Keys, both with the 1st Bn., 28th Inf. Regt., 4th IBCT, 1st Inf. Div.,
took first place, with 79 points overall.
“One of the biggest things that
Soldiers neglect over time is the employment of the radio,” one of the 10
Soldier skills measured during the competition, McMillian said. “It’s a
critical skill that I think gets neglected sometimes.”
The captain said the
medical skills, like the buddy carry, are absolutely necessary for Soldiers in
“I think this tests all
those facets and makes the Soldier a little bit better,” McMillian said. “Those
guys that volunteered for this will probably walk out of there a little bit better
a Soldier than your average guy.”
Before the event began, Capt.
Paul Day, 10th Air Support Operations Squadron, U.S. Air Force, said he
volunteered for the competition because it sounded like fun.
“We’re just going to go out
there, we’re going to get to our objectives as fast as we can, and, hopefully,
once we get there, we’re better than everyone else,” Day said. “But, it’s all
in good fun, and when it’s all over, we’re all on the same team.”
Spc. Dillon McNeill and Spc.
Adam Huntoon, both with the 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade
Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div., took second place with 72 points.
“We started out knowing how
long it was, but you don’t really realize the distance until you get to the
full length of it,” Huntoon said after completing the competition in just less
than four hours. “The tasks along the way weren’t too hard – normal Soldiering tasks
– but when you get to that task, the fatigue … made the tasks a little more
difficult than they should have been.”
Huntoon said the competition
was one of the hardest things he’s had to do during his three years in the
“In combat … you’ve got to
get past physical and mental barriers a lot,” he said. “I think if you can go through
this, and tasks and challenges like this, it’s definitely going to prepare us for