Sgt. Blayne Peterson, a health care specialist from 7203rd Medical Support Unit, Hobart, Ind., takes a written exam part of the Army Reserve Medical Command’s prestigious “Best Warrior Competition” at the C.W. Bill Young Armed Forces Reserve Center in Pinellas Park, Fla., March 23, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Marnie Jacobowitz/Released)
A Region native is among soldiers selected to compete in the Army Reserve Medical Command's prestigious “Best Warrior Competition” in Florida this week. 21-year-old Sgt. Blayne Peterson, a health care specialist from 7203rd Medical Support Unit in Hobart is a 2010 graduate of Winamac Community High School, and currently works as a physician substitute with Saturn Bio-Medical, working toward becoming a nurse practitioner at IUPUI.
Story by Lt. Col. Michele Sutak
PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - Sgt. Blayne Peterson, a health care specialist from 7203rd Medical Support Unit, Hobart, Ind., is competing in the Army Reserve Medical Command’s prestigious “Best Warrior Competition” here and Camp Blanding, Fla., March 22-30, 2013. He is one of only 10 soldiers of the 9,500-strong AR-MEDCOM Warriors to be selected to compete for this honor.
Peterson, 21, a Winamac, Ind., native, is representing Central Medical Area Readiness Support Group from Fort Sheridan, Ill., besting more than a thousand soldiers from that command to advance to the next level.
“I wanted to be the best at what I do,” said Peterson, who deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation New Dawn in 2011. “This competition allows me to go against other great competitors and see how I stack up against the rest of the force.”
As a 2010 graduate of Winamac Community High School, he currently works as a physician substitute with Saturn Bio-Medical, and is working toward becoming a nurse practitioner at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Ind.
“Being a civilian one day and serve my country the next day is very rewarding,” said Peterson, whose following in the footsteps of his grandfathers, great uncles, uncles and two brothers, serving in the military. “I will always be a soldier first, and I get to share that with my civilian friends and family as well.”
The Best Warrior Competition was developed by retired Sergeant Major of the Army Jack Tilley in 2002 as a test of a soldier’s physical endurance, military knowledge, current events, and mental perseverance. The competition is an opportunity for Warrior’s to highlight their military skills in a competitive environment and measures how well they perform under stress.
The grueling five day event competition taxes each soldier mentally and physically. It includes a timed written exam, physical fitness test, and a number of mentally and physically challenging exercises including a 10 kilometer road march, M-4 rifle qualification, urban warfare orienteering, an Army Combatives Tournament –and a Mystery Event.
Peterson began the competition at unit level, rising to command level and continuing on to higher command intended to select the noncommissioned officer and junior enlisted Soldier of the Year for AR-MEDCOM. The winner advances to train and prepare through U. S. Army Reserve Command, and upon winning will go on to represent the Army Reserve Command to the Army wide ‘Best Warrior’ Competition to be held later in the year.
The Army Reserve Medical Command has been represented at the top Army event in 2009 by Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler, a medical logistics NCO from Three Forks, Mont., at the Department of the Army level competition.