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Face of Defense: Reservist Pursues Higher Learning

Army Spc. Joshua Meyer, college student reservist.

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – Army Spc. Joshua Meyer used his physical strength and stamina to finish first during the road march portion of the Best Warrior competition hosted here by the Army Reserve's 99th Regional Support Command and 76th Operational Response Command last week.

In civilian life, Meyer is using his intellectual prowess on the road to obtaining his undergraduate degree from Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, N.Y.

"Being in college during the week and then on duty during the weekends works out quite well with my schedule," said Meyer, a trumpet player with the Army Reserve's 198th Army Band, headquartered in Rochester. "The Army Reserve has helped me out quite a bit financially with my civilian education."

Meyer has served in the Army Reserve for the past three years and is a recipient of the gold German Proficiency Badge.

"Being a citizen-soldier in the Army Reserve means that I get to have a civilian life with a job and school, then I get to become a soldier when I put the uniform on," he said. "It is the best of both worlds."

In addition to the road march event, the Best Warrior Competition tested citizen-soldiers' warrior skills with events such as the Army Physical Fitness Test, M16 qualification and "move and shoot" ranges, hand-to-hand combatives, day and night land navigation, and urban combat.

"We've been planning this for the past eight months," said Army Command Sgt. Maj. Jesus DeJesus, coordinator and noncommissioned officer in charge of the Best Warrior Competition. "Some of us don't do this type of training all the time, so it's good for the competitors."

The Best Warrior Competition tested the physical, mental and emotional stamina of its competitors over several days, pushing them to their limits.

"The competition was a great experience that was offered to me, and I could not pass it up," Meyer said.

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