US Army Europe soldiers face off for Best Warrior title

From left, First Lt.Jeremy Lahn, a health services officer with the 30th Medical Brigade, Pfc. Griffin Emrick, a combat medical specialist with the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, and Sgt. Jason Sauer, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist with the 41st Field Artillery Brigade, gather during the U.S. Army Europe, Best Warrior Competition on July 27, 2020, at Hohenfels, Germany.


By IMMANUEL JOHNSON | Stars and Stripes | Published: August 2, 2020

HOHENFELS, Germany — More than 30 soldiers from Army units across Europe battled it out in marksmanship, land navigation and a ruck march last week to determine the three “best warriors” in Europe.

The U.S. Army Europe’s Best Warrior Competition tested battlefield and medical skills, endurance and fortitude with grueling physical challenges and a written test all crammed into a few short days.

“My favorite part is zeroing the weapons because I love firing,” said Sgt. Jason Sauer. Sauer said that during the competition, he had to fire his weapon in order to adjust it, to learn public affairs and to throw grenades.

Pfc. Griffin Emrick, a combat medic specialist with the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, said he prepared for the event by focusing not just on physical training, but also by studying material for the written test.

“My favorite part of the competition so far was interacting with the media because it is out of my comfort zone,” said Emrick. “I have never done it before, and I enjoy learning new things.”

This year’s U.S. Army Europe winners are Spc. Justin Rivard for soldier of the year, Staff Sgt. William McLain for noncommissioned officer of the year, and 1st Lt. Quinn Guiterrez for officer of the year.

Rivard, McLain and Guiterrez will advance to represent U.S. Army Europe in the Army Best Warrior Competition at Fort Lee, Va.

“It is good to have my soldiers teach me some things because it is that circle leadership we instill across the Army,” said 1st Lt. Jeffrey Lahn, a health services officer with the 30th Medical Brigade who helped soldiers train for the event and also competed.

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Soldiers from across U.S. Army Europe participate in the Best Warrior Competition in Hohenfels, Germany, on July 27, 2020. The weeklong event tests skills, endurance and fortitude.