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    New York Soldier places second in Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition

    National Best Warrior Competition 2021

    Photo By Sgt. Thurman Snyder | Sgt. JAMES V. McGILL, with 1297th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Maryland Army...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. Avery Schneider 

    New York National Guard

    Cortland, N.Y. – New York Army National Guard Cpl. Dakotah Miller placed second in the Army National Guard’s national Best Warrior Competition held in Camp Navajo, Arizona, July 19-23.

    Miller, a full-time student in exercise science at SUNY Cortland, and infantryman assigned the Utica-based 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment, is back home getting some much-needed rest after training non-stop for the last seven months.

    He competed at battalion, brigade, state, and regional levels, before giving his all in the national competition. It marked the fourth year in a row that the New York National Guard sent a competitor to the national level.

    “This one included a 15-mile road march in the Arizona heat, as well Army Warrior Tasks, combat lanes, shooting events and physical fitness tests,” said New York State Command Sgt. Maj. David Piwowarski.

    Among the tests was also a “mystery event” Miller found out about on the day it took place – a patrol lane in which each Soldier got to practice being a squad leader. That led to small groups being graded on their ability to conduct an urban assault operation on a training house.

    In addition to being tested, the week-long competition also included opportunities to learn, with hands-on practice using explosives and exposure to less commonly-seen weapons they like the Barrett M82 .50 caliber sniper rifle.

    “The training experience I brought back was more than I’ve seen in any competition so far,” Miller said.

    Miller said the most challenging element of the competition was the combination of events, with constant movement between them. And though he felt physically exhausted by the end, Miller’s morale and that of his peers was always high.

    “There was this all-around camaraderie by the end of it. We talked about where we came from, what we were doing, who we were,” he said. “It definitely created more of a bond than any other competition.”

    Miller will be recognized for his efforts at an award presentation in New York later this year, along with Staff Sgt. Stephen Mulholland of the 2-108th. Mulholland trained and competed alongside Miller in the noncommissioned officer category of the best warrior competitions. He made it to the regional level, where he placed second, and then became Miller’s sponsor for the national competition.

    Rather than compete again next year, Miller wants to focus on developing his Army career through schools and training with his unit. And though he won’t go on to represent the National Guard in the All-Army Best Warrior Competition this fall, Miller is bringing home important lessons to his fellow Soldiers. He wants to become a sponsor and teach the 2-108th’s next competitors what he learned.

    “It’s not just weapons, not just telling a Soldier to be physically capable. It’s having that morale boost, teaching them to have a passion, a drive,” Miller said. “Even when you’re burnt out, just move on to the next 10-meter target.”



    Date Taken: 07.30.2021
    Date Posted: 07.30.2021 09:18
    Story ID: 402109
    Location: CORTLAND, NY, US 
    Hometown: CORTLAND, NY, US

    Web Views: 614
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