Story by: Spc. Michael Giles
Posted: Feb 7, 2015
Spc. Michael Giles
Tech. Sgt. Matthew Renteria and Senior Airman Michael Pineda listen to a brief before the obstacle course portion of the Texas Military Forces Best Warrior Competition at Camp Swift near Bastrop, Texas, Feb. 5, 2015. The event tests the mental and physical proficiencies of the participants through various challenges. Winners will continue to compete at a multi-state regional level. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Michael Giles/Released)
BASTROP, Texas - When the Texas Air National Guard first joined the Texas Military Forces Best Warrior Competition in 2013, then Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Rentería proclaimed that he would "win it all." He did not end up winning "it all" in 2013, but he pulled a close second in the noncommissioned officer division of the competition.
Matthew returned to compete in the 2015 Best Warrior Competition at Camp Swift, this time bringing a lifelong friend who helped him forge his competitive spirit, Senior Airman Michael Rentería.
The fraternal twins are well known as highly motivated, with an intense drive to surpass each other in all pursuits.
"They are both outstanding individuals," said Master Sgt. Justin Tassin, a Tactical Air Control Party supervisor for the brothers in the 147th Air Support Operations Squadron. "But when you put the two together, you can see the sibling rivalry, and it pushes them harder to perform."
Competition between the brothers covered all aspects of growing up.
"Everything we were doing, we were doing at the same time," Senior Airman Rentería said. "We competed in getting the girls, school and sports. It keeps us going. It keeps us battling."
Matthew and Michael also credit their father and their role in the military for their drive to excel.
"He's my hero," Michael said. "He did a lot for us growing up."
Matthew explained that their roles as tactical air control party Airmen require high standards of physical and mental readiness, and this also keeps them working to stay sharp.
"Primarily, my concern is the mission," Matthew said. "If something were to pop off, I want to be in combat shape to go and do my duties."
Matthew has served for 10 years in the Air Guard while Michael has served for eight. Matthew mentored his brother in preparation for the competition, giving him the benefit of his experience, but said that Michael has what it takes to do well on his own in his first Best Warrior Competition.
"He has learned a lot," Matthew said. "He has been through a lot of training, so he's squared away."
Both brothers earned bragging rights during this year's competition. Matthew and Michael each achieved the highest event score during the interview portion, and they both scored among the top three in the obstacle course. Matthew earned the highest score on land navigation and Michael succeeded in earning the highest overall score among the junior enlisted soldiers.
The 149th Fighter Wing Command Chief Master Sgt. George Longoria, evaluator chairman for the essay portion of the event, expressed that the brothers' competitiveness is a quality that strengthens Americans. "Competing and being the best is part of our make up."