Final push to finish for 2019 Texas Best Warrior Competition competitors

  • Published
  • By SrA Bryan Swink
  • 136th Airlift Wing

Two days down, two more to go for the Soldiers, Airmen and international partners competing in the Texas National Guard’s 2019 Best Warrior Competition at Camp Swift, Texas March 1, 2019.

Over the span of 24 hours, the competitors have been put through an obstacle course, nighttime navigation, a 12-mile ruck march wearing a 35-pound ruck sack and performing a modified Army physical fitness test which consisted of pushups, sit-ups, and a four-mile run.

If this wasn’t challenging enough, all of these events were completed while battling temperatures just a few degrees above freezing, inconsistent rain and wind, and only a couple hours of sleep.

“I knew I was going to be challenged physically and mentally for this competition, but I had no idea I would be pushed harder than I ever have in my life,” said Senior Airman Henry Ravenell, 136th Airlift Wing. “Even though I’m incredibly exhausted, I know I have to push myself even further so I can say I gave it my all take advantage of this awesome opportunity to represent the Air Force and my wing.”

Blocking out distractions and only focusing on the job at hand is what Pfc. Joshua Gonzalez says helps keep him going.

“As tiring as it’s been so far, the best thing for me to do to finish this competition is just focus on whatever event is right in front of me and block out all distractions,” said Gonzalez, Texas Army National Guard. “As a Soldier, we are taught to keep on going regardless of how tired you are. It doesn’t matter to me what any of my competition is doing, all I can control is my focus and my output.”

The experience of this competition not only allows Texas Army and Air Force Guard units to get together to build camaraderie, but it also strengthens the Guard’s relationship between the Czech Republic and Chile through the State Partner Program.

“I’m proud and honored to represent my home country of Chile at this competition,”said Cpl. Fabian Berrios Ortiz, Chilean Army. “I see all the other competitors pushing themselves hard and I am here to do the same thing. It’s been a great opportunity to work with true professionals from Texas and the Czech Republic to strengthen our countries relationships.”

The winners of the Texas competition will be honored at a banquet in May and will be eligible to compete in Best Warrior Competition at the nation and international levels.