104FW Airman competes in Best Warrior Competition

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Camille Lienau
  • 104th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jessica Gallis, equipment manager with the 104th Logistics Readiness Squadron, competed in the Massachusetts' Army Best Warrior Competition March 23 - 25, 2023, at Camp Edwards, Joint-Base Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Best Warrior is an annual, national Army competition testing service members’ competence, resilience, and stamina through a series of mental and physical challenges. A total of 51 Soldiers and Airmen participated in this year’s competition in Massachusetts.

“In July of last year, I knew I wanted to compete in Best Warrior,” said Gallis. “I told my supervisor and started working out, running, and weightlifting. In September, I started rucking with 20-pounds and kept upping the weight until January. I had my mentor train me on Tactical Combat Casualty Care, nine-line emergency medevac requests, weapons, and all the events for the competition.”

Competitors employed a wide range of skills relevant to today’s combat operating environment and were tested in several areas to include land navigation, marksmanship and weapons skills, wilderness operations, and their completion of an assault course.

Prior to the competition, Gallis spent time with her mentor, Tech. Sgt. Christopher Stiglan, materials handler, 104LRS, training and learning the skills necessary to excel at the competition.

“Before I joined the Air National Guard, I was in the U.S Army National Guard for six years,” said Stiglan. “I have a lot of practical experience, particularly with warrior tasks such as land navigation, rucking, and weapon handling.”

The competition is designed to be challenging and recognize military members who demonstrate a commitment to core values and embody the Warrior Ethos.

As the first female from the 104th Fighter Wing to compete at Massachusetts Best Warrior, Gallis intends to become a mentor and inspire others to follow in her footsteps.

“Initially, there were a lot of things that I was not good at, and I had to overcome that hurdle,” said Gallis. “When I got to the competition, I told myself, 'If you fail in an event do not let it eat you up; keep going and stay positive because you still have more to go. If you don’t do well in one event, there are so many others that you might excel in.'”

Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Hagar, material management superintendent, 104th LRS, and direct supervisor to Gallis, supported her throughout the competition.

“Gallis has a mentality that is hard to teach -- a positive attitude," Hagar said. "I see it in her work every day and during the competition. I knew she was struggling, but it was impressive how she was able to do it on her own."

Hagar said that while he could tell Gallis was tired from the strenuous competition, her heart shone through.

“Gallis, you made us all proud," he said. "You finished it."