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Feature Stories

NEWS | Aug. 3, 2021

U.S. Army Central and Community Celebrate 2021 Best Warriors

By Spc. Amber Cobena U.S. Army Central

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. – U.S. Army Central leaders and the Sumter community celebrated USARCENT's 2021 Best Warriors, Sgt. Brandon Brantley and Spc. Omar Dacosta, during a ceremony here at Patton Hall, July 29.

Brantley represented USARCENT's 335th Strategic Signal Command (Theater-Provisional) and Dacosta represented Task Force Spartan in USARCENT's Best Warrior competition held in Kuwait in June, and the two will now represent USARCENT in the U.S. Forces Command-level event Aug. 2-5.

During the celebration, USARCENT Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Terry Ferrell, and Senior Enlisted Advisor, Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Hester, presented each warrior with the Meritorious Service Medal and other USARCENT memorabilia, and representatives from USAA, AUSA, The City of Sumter, Darley Defense, AAFES, Military Clothing Sales, and ADS Tactical also gifted tokens of appreciation to the warriors for their dedication to excellence and service.

Every year the best Soldiers and noncommissioned officers from across the U.S. Army’s major commands ultimately compete head-to-head in the Army's Best Warrior Competition, but to reach that level, warriors must win every level of competition from the battalion up.

“With every competition that I do, and every step that I take, it’s just going to get better and better,” said Dacosta, an Infantryman with A Co., 3-172nd Infantry (Mountain).

Dacosta and Brantley's units are both currently deployed under USARCENT in support of operations across the U.S. Central Command region, which made both of them eligible for USARCENT's competition in Kuwait.

During the forward competition, 11 warriors endured 76-plus hours of obstacles and challenges that tested their Soldier skills and abilities, physical fitness, marksmanship, and endurance, all in Kuwait's summer temperatures.

“I think about what motivates me and push through, and know that regardless, at the end of the day I am never going to quit,” said Brantley, a Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear NCO. “One of the biggest things to remember is no matter what you are doing the Army as a whole is one team.”

Both Ferrell and Hester expressed their pride and confidence in Dacosta and Brantley as they go on to represent USARCENT at the next level.