99th RSC News

Army Reserve Celebrates 100 Years Of Camp Dix

By Sgt. Russell Toof | 99th Regional Support Command | July 19, 2017

July 18, 2017 -- JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – Army Reserve leaders, Soldiers and civilians gathered July 18 at the Army Reserve Mobilization Museum here to celebrate the centennial of the inception of Camp Dix.

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Army Reserve Ambassadors Enhance Ready Force

ByStaff Sgt.Shawn Morris| 99th Regional Support Command | July 10, 2017

July 8, 2017 -- JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – Two-dozen U.S. Army Reserve ambassadors attended the 2017 Army Reserve Ambassador Seminar July 6-9 at the Maj. John P. Pryor Army Reserve Center here.

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Army Reserve “best Warrior” Strives To Learn And Teach Others

By Sgt. Russell Toof | 99th Regional Support Command | July 06, 2017

July 6, 2017 -- JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – Forty U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers sit in the Iron Mike Conference Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, exhausted from the events of the previous week. It was a week filled with competing in a variety of challenges including firing weapons, land navigation, the Army Physical Fitness Test and various mystery events all while battling high humidity and temperatures in the 80s and 90s.

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Army Reserve Soldier Continues Lifetime Of Learning

Moton has always had a desire to learn, as evidenced by the doctorate he earned in 2016, and the Army has been there to assist him throughout his quest for knowledge.

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Keeping History Alive

Story by SPC John Irish on 05/20/2018
It was a stifling muggy day in Upper St. Clair during the town's annual community day event. The men of Knap's Independent Battery "E," a Civil War reenactment group from southwestern Pennsylvania, toiled in their wool attire, preparing their gun and camp for a shooting demonstration. Their presence worked to reel the attention in of the onlookers at the event for the Fulton Log House nearby, a historical site that teaches the history of the area.
Taking in the day, James Sims, a native of Greensburg, Pa., sat with his gaze resting on the field nearby. Cracking a roasted peanut, he recalled when he first became involved in reenacting 29 years ago. It was when he was stationed at Fort AP Hill, Va. Sims always had an interest in history that coupled with his background in the U.S. Army as an artillery crewmen, which set him down the road to Knap's Battery.
"I knew I wanted to do an artillery impression, so I found a local Pittsburgh reenacting group that had Pittsburgh lineage and history," said Sims.
Sims is an unofficial operations point in Knap's Battery. He said he likes to organize the events more than the artillery itself. However, he likes the history the most. As for the events, the larger ones are easier to recall. Artillery will always be set up on a hill top and it provides a vantage point that lets us take in how big the events really are.
"It's impressive, they're all volunteer," said Sims. "Nobody is out here getting paid."
Another reenactor in Knap's Battery is Mike Woodburn, from Pittsburgh, who is also a history buff and found himself looking for more ways to explore history one day. Woodburn was a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh when he discovered the Battery in 2002.
"I was bored in the student union one day, Googling reenacting groups in Pittsburgh and found Knap's Battery," said Woodburn. "A couple months later I was abducted and indoctrinated."
With a chuckle, Woodburn recalled the day when he first met the men of the Battery. It was at the Crowne Plaza shopping center in Washington, Pa. He said it was a welcoming environment, everyone was eager to introduce themselves and show him around the equipment. Not too long after, in May of 2002, Woodburn was at his first event with Knap's Battery.
"They immediately put me right on the gun crew," He said. "It was pretty intense."
He had never heard a Civil War cannon fire before. He remembers feeling the concussion of the blast in his chest and was in love ever since. Woodburn said it's important going out and educating the public and participating in the reenactments and firing demonstrations. They do their best to make sure they honor the sacrifices the men and women who served in the Civil War made.
"If you really do this for the right reason and you're truly a history buff like most of us are," said Woodburn. "I think you really appreciate coming out and talking with the public and educating the public."
Knap's Battery's former captain used to say the group couldn't replicate what the people who died in the Civil War did. They could only honor what they did.
"I think it's important for us to come out here and make sure their sacrifices are not forgotten," said Woodburn.
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Long Road To Victory - Soldiers Finish The McBwc

Story by PV1 Hunter Eastman on 04/20/2018
DEVENS RESERVE FORCES TRAINING AREA, Mass. -- Before sunrise, competitors in the Major Command-level Best Warrior Competition (MCBWC) started their day with a 12-mile ruck march around the South Post of Devens Reserve Forces Training Area in Massachusetts, April 19, 2018.
Despite the heavy rain and cold conditions which developed near the end of the event when most competitors had already logged over ten of the twelve miles, Pvt. Adam Nelson, a combat engineer from the 372nd Engineer Battalion, 416th Theater Engineer Command (TEC), said, "you just have to put that ruck on, start stepping and take it one mile at a time."
This task pushed the competitor's limits and proved their ability to endure in stressful environments and epitomizing the Soldiers Creed calling for physically and mentally tough Soldiers that can rise above any hardship.
"It's extremely exciting to see them plan, strategize, team up and really dig down deep to overcome every challenge," said Maj. Gen. A. C. Roper, Commanding General of the 76th Operational Response Command, the command responsible for organizing the competition.
After the march, Soldiers traveled to Minuteman National Historic Park (MNHP) in Concord, Massachusetts where they watched a reenactment, in honor of the Soldiers who fought and gave their lives in the American Revolution - the original Citizen-Soldiers.
The visit happened 243 years, to the day, of the Battle of Lexington and Concord fought on these very grounds on April 19, 1775 and memorialized in Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Concord Hymn" as 'The shot heard round the world.'
"We're here memorializing patriots of the war," said Sean Conley, a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and a direct descendent of Paul Revere also attending the event. "We'll never forget the history of our country."
This was a motivating event that helped Soldiers understand the history and camaraderie of America's early Army, motivating them to continue pursuit of their goals as Soldiers, and model themselves after America's valiant patriots of the Revolutionary War.
Watching a reenactment of the Shot Heard Around the World was an honor for Nelson that hit home for him due to the emotional meaning of the events that sparked the revolution in America.
The visit to MNHP brought everything the Soldiers have been working towards at the competition full circle and into perspective. Understanding what the Army stands for and what it has accomplished with the help of patriots that fought for our country during the Revolutionary War is an experience that will last a lifetime.
"Today serves as a bridge, that connects our past when our Army fired the Shot Heard Around the World to our present-day reality, where we now have the best Army the world has ever known," said Roper, reflecting on the powerful reenactment Soldiers participating in the MCBWC were able to witness as a conclusion to the competition.
After the trip to MNHP, for the final scored event, the competitors where then required to compose and essay with the newly rekindled inspiration of being a Citizen-Soldier.
At the end of the day, competing Soldiers and their sponsors, sergeants major, cadre and other members of the MCBWC gathered for the award ceremonies to name the best warrior in each command.
Specialist John Mundey, from the 463rd Engineer Battalion, 412th TEC, won best warrior, as a junior enlisted Soldier, for his command. Mundey also earned the highest score out of all the junior-enlisted Soldiers as well as the highest score of all the competitors here, proving he has the Soldier and leadership skills, and military knowledge to earn the title best warrior.
"I'm glad that I was able to pull it all together because I trained really hard for this," said Mundey. "Overcoming any adversity builds character and resilience, I hope I can take this back to those in my unit and share what I've learned here."
Sergeant Christian Cieslak, 382nd Engineer Company, 412th TEC was awarded best warrior, noncommissioned officer (NCO), for his command, as well as the highest score of all NCOs in the competition.
Sergeant Aaron Chavers, from the 198th Army Band, 99th Readiness Division, earned his second, consecutive major command-level win, this time as an NCO. Chavers previously won best warrior as a junior enlisted Soldier last year.
"Winning best warrior will help build my leadership skills as an NCO," said Chavers. Chavers also credits his sponsor, Staff Sgt. Joshua Meyer, who competed for the NCO title last year, for helping him maintain his motivation and persevere through the challenges that the competition garnered.
Specialist William Laws, of the 318th Chemical Company, 76th Operational Response Command was awarded best warrior, for his command, as a junior enlisted Soldier.
Sergeant Thomas Crump, attached to the 327th Chemical Company, was also best warrior winner for the 76th Operational Response Command, as an NCO.
Sergeant Justin Richardson, of the 365th Chemical Company, 416th TEC, took home the title of best warrior, for his command, as an NCO. The winner of the junior enlisted best warrior, the 416th TEC was Spc. Benjamin Retz.
"This was a great competition that tested every part of being a Soldier," said Spc. Bradley Brown, attached to the 382nd Engineer Company, 412th TEC.
The MCBWC brought Soldiers together to learn, grow and realize their potential as Soldiers in the U.S Army. The conclusion of the competition will benefit each of the competitors, so they can go back to their units and share all that they've gained throughout the four-day event.
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Up In Smoke - Competitors Take A Walk Through A Gas Chamber

Story by PV1 Hunter Eastman on 04/18/2018
DEVENS RESERVE FORCES TRAINING AREA, Mass. -- The Major Command-level Best Warrior Competition (MCBWC) at Devens Reserve Forces Training Area in Massachusetts, on April 18, 2018, continued at a fast pace with only one day left before Soldiers are named best warrior and best noncommissioned officer for their command.
Today, Soldiers tackled a run through a gas chamber and rifle and pistol qualifications, along with a tactical field mission.
Marksmanship is one of the tasks that plays a large role in earning points at the MCBWC, and weapon proficiency is integral to a Soldier's skill set while on mission. The competitors' proficiency on M9 pistol and M16A2 rifle were tested in multiple ways.
After a sprint down a forested trail, Soldiers made their way to the M9 pistol range, where they shot at silhouettes and sporting clays, from varying distances. The stress of shooting with an elevated heart rate tested the physical readiness of the competitors and helps mimic real combat situations. Soldiers then quickly moved onto the next range where they qualified with an M16A2 rifle.
Another part of readiness for operations at home stations and across the globe is accurately and safely maneuvering Soldiers through a given task. The tactical field missions conducted at the MCBWC tied the fundamental tasks together, highlighting Soldiers abilities in the tested tasks.
Specialist Hunter Watts, of the 702nd Engineer Battalion, 412th Theater Engineer Command, said he will take what he's learned so far at the MCBWC and hopes to bring it back home to his unit, where he can help lower enlisted Soldiers. "Our mission is to keep growing and to teach," said Watts.
The next challenge was a walk into a CS gas chamber that makes eyes water and is incredibly unpleasant to breathe. This tested the Soldiers ability to maintain their composure through intense situations, something all Soldiers need to make it through a mission.
Specialist Whitni Schurr, of the 349th Chemical Company, 76th Operational Response Command, believes going through both physical and mental discomfort allows Soldiers to move beyond those ailments and push on to complete their mission; helping Soldiers understand how to lead in harsh circumstances.
Competitors ended the day with a series of drill and ceremony tasks and weapon checks on a M249 rifle, M16A2 rifle, and M9 pistol.
Tomorrows events, starting with a 12-mile ruck march, are the last chance for Soldiers to give it their all and earn points at the MCBWC, because by the end of the day a best warrior will be named.
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Lost In The Woods McBwc Searches For The Best Warrior

Story by PV1 Hunter Eastman on 04/17/2018
DEVENS RESERVE FORCES TRAINING AREA, Mass. -- Soldiers tested their physical strength and land navigation skills during the Major Command-level Best Warrior Competition (MCBWC), here, on April 17, 2018.
Today was a big day for competitors because physical fitness and land navigation are vital Soldier skills that enhance unit readiness and keep Army Reserve Soldiers at the forefront of operations around the globe. These particular events also provided the competitors a chance to separate themselves from their opponents.
Early this morning, Soldiers pushed themselves in the Army Physical Fitness Test, an assessment that involves a series of exercises including pushups, sit ups and a two-mile run to measure muscle strength and endurance, ensuring Soldier's readiness for the operational environment.
Sergeant Thomas Crump, of the 327th Chemical Company, 76th Operational Response Command, traveled from Tennessee to compete in the MCBWC to experience these challenges first-hand, so he can better train his Soldiers to be ready for anything that comes their way.
"Having these events are very important, especially to motivated Soldiers," said Crump. "This provides an outlet for Soldiers to represent what their units stand for."
After the APFT, Soldiers demonstrated warrior skills involving map reading, radio communication and proper evaluation of a casualty.
Building off the day's events, Soldiers continued on to the land navigation event where they made their way through the wooded course during both day and night iterations. This task tested the Soldiers abilities as adept navigators and fine-tune their Soldier skills for use in changing combat situations.
Specialist Benjamin Retz, of the 389th Engineering Battalion, 416th Theater Engineer Command, reflected on earlier tasks in the competition, and was excited for the upcoming events like today's land navigation.
The MCBWC is far from over, as Soldiers still have to prove their abilities as marksmen on the M4 rifle and M9 pistol, finish a 12-mile ruck march and more "mystery" events, kept secret from the competitors.
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Soldiers Ready Up - McBwc Opening Day

Story by PV1 Hunter Eastman on 04/17/2018
DEVENS RESERVE FORCES TRAINING AREA, Mass. -- Soldiers start off strong at the opening events of the Major Command-Level Best Warrior Competition (MCBWC) here at Devens Reserve Forces Training Area, Monday, April 16.
MCBWC is an annual event where Army Reserve Soldiers compete against each other and themselves to prove their skills. Soldiers from the 412th Theatre Engineer Command (TEC), 416th TEC, 76th Operational Response Command and 99th Readiness Division, represent nearly 15% of the total Army Reserve force.
The Soldiers are competing for the title of best warrior or best noncommissioned officer of their command and a spot in the United States Army Reserve event to prove they have what it takes to be the best warrior.
Sergeant Justin Richardson, from the 365th Chemical Company, 416th TEC, decided to compete in the MCBWC because he wanted to prove he could be a great leader. He was pushed by his peers in his home unit to compete and be the best he could be and is vying for the title for his command.
Today marked the first set of tasks Soldiers had to complete during the competition, and included a written exam and enlisted Soldiers/NCO boards. A board consists of a panel of Sergeants Major who asked questions that tested the Soldier's knowledge of topics ranging from weapons knowledge, creeds, land navigation as well as their professional appearance and military bearing.
Specialist John Mundey, of the 463rd Engineer Battalion, 412th TEC, from West Virginia, has been in the Army Reserve for two years and is no stranger to competition. A standout college athlete, Mundey was ready for something more challenging and decided to test his mettle in the MCBWC.
"It's a great tool for Soldiering skills," said Mundy. "And competition never hurt anybody."
The competitors are excited for upcoming events. Mundey said that the ruck march was a way to put himself above the other competitors because he's built up an endurance through collegiate athletics.
Tomorrow, the Soldiers face another set of challenges including an Army Physical Fitness Test, weapons qualification and a "mystery" event kept secret from the competitors in an effort to keep them on their toes.
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A Little Piece Of Home At The Freedom Center

Story by SGT Carlos Garcia on 03/24/2018

For some, traveling through the airports can sometimes be a little nerve-racking or stressful, depending on the circumstances. Things like being away from family, adverse weather affecting flight schedules or having that feeling of butterflies in the stomach before departing the comfort of home can create discomfort.

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Family, Faith Power Army Reserve Chaplain

By Sgt. Russell Toof | 99th Regional Support Command | June 26, 2017

July 23, 2017 -- JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – Army chaplain (Maj.) Timothy Elliott might not be where he is today without the support of his family.

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