A Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson soldier is competing this week in the Pacific Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition in Hawaii. The week-long competition began Saturday and will end with the awards ceremony Thursday.
The past week has been exhausting for Sergeant Daniel Alsdorf.
From before the sun rises until after it sets, he and 10 other soldiers have been putting their entire military skill-set to the test….from land navigation, to hand-to-hand combat, to their overall fitness and more.
According to Alsdorf, the Hawaiian heat and humidity coupled with a simulated battlefield atmosphere haven’t made the tests any easier.
“It’s amazing when you get to a competition how some of the simple tasks become hard, you add a little sleep deprivation and a little fatigue to that, you know, a 6.5 hour road march in Hawaiian conditions can be pretty intense, especially coming from Alaska…these boys have a 30 degree temperature advantage on me,” Alsdorf said.
Despite the difference in climate between Hawaii and Alaska, he says he’s feeling pretty good about the competition so far.
Alsdorf is a combat medic, and he was able to put his life-saving skills to work during the combat casualty care exercise…where competitors had to take care of two injured soldiers and move them to a helicopter before time ran out…all while under simulated combat conditions.
“The sounds of battle are real, the sweat is in your eyes, you’re running through jungle, you can’t see 15-20 feet in front of you, you don’t really know what’s happening until you get around the next corner. All the while, you know that there’s someone in there bleeding, and it’s your job to get to them and save their lives before they lose all their blood,” Alsdorf said.
Even though the two “casualties” are mannequins, Alsdorf says it doesn’t stop the soldiers from doing all they can to save them.
“You have to sort of think on your feet…make sure you’re running through your fundamentals like: are they breathing? Can we stop the bright red stuff from coming out of their body? Can we get them to safety? All those things are a lot harder than it sounds whenever you’ve got 50 caliber rounds blasting over your head…it’s pretty exciting,” Alsdorf said.
Competitors won’t know where exactly they stand in the competition until Thursday at the awards ceremony.
The winners will go on to the U.S. Army Reserve Command’s Best Warrior Competition in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin later this year.