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News | March 22, 2024

Wisconsin Guard Soldiers to chase Best Warrior honors

By Wisconsin National Guard Public Affairs

Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers, representing units from across the state, will begin a grueling 48-hour gauntlet known as the Best Warrior Competition this evening.

The competition is a series of 12 scheduled events that test each enlisted Soldier’s proficiency in warrior tasks, while also challenging their physical, mental and professional capacity. Events in the Best Warrior Competition include a physical fitness test, marksmanship and land navigation.

Participating in the Best Warrior Competition requires skill, dedication and perseverance.

“Receiving the title of Best Soldier or Noncommissioned Officer of the Year through the Best Warrior Competition has always been one of the most sought after and prestigious titles that an enlisted Soldier can receive,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Patrouille, the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s senior enlisted leader. “This year, even with the high operation tempo that the Wisconsin Army National Guard has endured, we have a healthy number of participants vying to be the best of the best in the Wisconsin Army National Guard.”

Patrouille acknowledged that condensing the competition from three to two days makes a grueling event even more challenging, but expressed confidence that the participants were up to the challenge.

“This competition brings out the best in all the competitors,” he said. “Even though we are all on the same team, there is something about this competition that makes all the Soldiers and noncommissioned officers push just a little bit harder, run just a little bit faster, go that extra mile when you are totally exhausted, when your teammate is next to you pushing you all the way.”

The Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy is not open to the public, but photos and updates will be posted throughout the weekend on the 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment Facebook page.

The Soldiers who emerge as the Soldier of the Year and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year will represent the Wisconsin Army National Guard at the Regional Best Warrior Competition May 1-5 at Camp Dodge Joint Maneuver Training Center, Iowa.

Best Warrior competitors include:

Sgt. Jake Baumgartner, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery Regiment (Genoa, Wisconsin)

Spc. Tevin Kenton, Troop C, 105th Cavalry Squadron (Wausau, Wisconsin)

Staff Sgt. Ava Kielisch, 54th Civil Support Team (DeForest, Wisconsin)

Staff Sgt. Alexander Kilbane, 426th Regional Training Institute (Sparta, Wisconsin)

Spc. Sophia Kovnesky, 3561st Quartermaster Platoon (Oak Creek, Wisconsin)

Spc. Paul Lindemann, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery Regiment (Valders, Wisconsin)

Sgt. Amy Marron, 132nd Army Band (Milwaukee)

Spc. Jameson Morgan, 229th Engineer Company (Schofield, Wisconsin)

Sgt. Taylor Peecher, Headquarters Company, 724th Engineer Battalion (Hudson, Wisconsin)

Sgt. Selena Pena, 950th Engineer Company (Elk River, Minnesota)

Spc. Abigail Rynes, Medical Detachment (Madison, Wisconsin)

Spc. Nathan Schultz, Troop A, 105th Cavalry Regiment (Milwaukee)

Spc. Nickolas Schuman, 950th Engineer Company (Altoona, Wisconsin)

Spc. Jack Schwark, 135th Medical Company Area Support (Milwaukee)

Sgt. Gabryelle Wellnitz, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery (Clinton, Wisconsin)