The 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) soldier recently recognized as the Best Warrior in all of the 1st Special Operations Command (Airborne) was honored Tuesday by the local chapter of the Special Forces Association, a group of former Special Forces soldiers dedicated to the ongoing brotherhood and welfare of the Special Forces community.
During a brief ceremony at the 7th Group’s compound near Crestview, the award-winning soldier — an NCO whose name cannot be released because of security concerns — was presented with a watch recognizing his achievement.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be here,” the Best Warrior winner said. “Seeing everyone here supporting me means the world.”
The crowd that gathered for the presentation included some of the soldier’s mentors, he said. He added that he was appreciative of the Special Forces history represented by the association members and “some of the incredible things they used to do.”
A number of current 7th Group troops, including commander Col. Patrick Colloton and Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Sanchez, the group’s senior enlisted soldier, were on hand in the compound’s Red Empire Center.
Best Warrior, an annual four-day competition among hundreds of soldiers from the 1st Special Operations Command’s 11 groups, includes physical fitness challenges such as a ruck march, military skills tests such as marksmanship and hand-to-hand combat, and even an academic component, as soldiers are tested on their knowledge of Army history and current events, among other subjects. Competitors also faced an oral examination board.
The winning soldier competed in this year’s Best Warrior competition just one day after returning from an overseas assignment.
“He crushed it,” Sanchez said of the soldier’s winning performance. “He went in and smoked it.”
The watch was presented by Glynn Moore, an honorary member of the Special Forces Association’s Chapter 7, whose father served in the 77th Special Forces Group, a predecessor of 7th Group.
Moore, an Army veteran now working as a local property manager, was made an honorary member of the association on the basis of work he’s done on behalf of the Special Forces Association, including assisting the spouses of deployed 7th Group soldiers with home repairs and other needs.
Moore also was instrumental in the construction of the association’s “team house,” a social gathering place in Mossy Head.
His father, retired Lt. Col. Charles Moore, died last year, and Glynn Moore wanted to do something for the Special Forces community in his honor. Tuesday’s ceremony was the first of what Moore says will be an annual presentation of a watch to a 7th Special Forces Group soldier who has distinguished himself in some way.
“My dad would have done something like this,” Moore said. “When 7th Group moved here (the group came to Eglin Air Force Base in 2011), it gave me a chance to give back.”
During his childhood, Moore didn’t see his father as much as he would have liked, largely because of his Special Forces work, which kept him away from home for months at a time. “A lot of the stuff he did was never talked about,” Moore said. “It’s classified.”
“I had to learn quick, because he had to teach me quick,” Moore continued.
He said one lesson that has stuck with him was his father’s admonition always to help people. That lesson has accounted for his special attachment to Special Forces troops and their families, Moore said.
“He was a heck of a man,” Moore said of his father. “I understand the dedication, what it takes (to be part of Special Forces).”