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    Warrior Games

    Warrior Games

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Edward Siguenza | U.S. Army Sgt. Ivan Ramos of the California Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion,...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Edward Siguenza 

    California National Guard Primary   

    CAMP SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Once again, the California Army National Guard’s top one percent of enlistees and noncommissioned officers underwent mentally challenging and physically grueling tests to determine the state’s best of the best in the 2022 Best Warrior Competition.

    Nine Soldiers and eight NCOs completed four days of events ranging from an Army Combat Physical Test to a 13.3-mile ruck sack march, with a written exam and appearance board in between the events. The yearly BWC determines Cal Guard’s Soldier and NCO of the Year. The two winners will represent California at the Regional BWC next year in Guam.

    “Competition raises the level of ability and competencies for all who participate,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Scott M. Witt, California Army National Guard command sergeant major. “This level of competition continues to raise the challenge bar for each competitor to reach the level as the best warrior within the California Army National Guard.”

    Added Witt, “We have developed the competition to be mentally and physically challenging. Each competitor will perform both standard Army individual tasks and non-standard tasks that will require physical endurance, mental resilience and critical thinking skills.”

    Competitors represented six Cal Guard brigades and one division. Earlier in the year they won their respective competitions that enabled them to participate in BWC.

    “Anyone can be a Soldier,” said Sgt. 1st. Class Raul Granado, an event organizer and cadre. “But only a few can be a Warrior.”

    The competition brought back an aquatic test as participants engaged in a water survival event. Participants had to swim 200 meters in full uniform whole gripping an M-4 rifle, keeping the muzzle of their weapon above water.

    “They’re going to be tested,” said Granado. “And right after that they’re going to run the ruck sack march.”

    The 13.3-mile ruck sack march is usually the make-it-or-break it event as competitors must carry a 35-pound (minimum) pack through hills, asphalt streets, dirt roads and trails. And they have three hours to finish the course.
    U.S. Army Sgt. Gabriel Dunn was first over the ruck sack finish line, closely followed by Pvt. Adrian Ramirez. Dunn led from the start until Ramirez caught him with about four miles remaining.

    “Since we are testing and selecting the California Army National Guard best warrior to compete at the region and national levels, our competition is not that unique. While the competition we develop needs to reinforce performance in similar events that will be seen at the region and national levels, we add events that are not standard Army tasks,” Witt explained.

    Regular events consisted of a written exam, obstacle course challenge, drill and ceremony, in-ranks inspection, land navigation and a taste of nerve gas in the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) chamber. Competitors paced themselves in an unknown distance run and later qualified with M-9 pistols and M-4/M-16 rifles. A mystery event—where each competitor had to shoot at non-live targets and drag a 180-pound training prop uphill — completed the testing events.

    The competition began with a review board where Soldiers and NCOs stood in dress uniform before senior noncommissioned officers. Competitors answered questions, earning points for correct responses.

    “For some the competition with one's self becomes more important than competing against other Soldiers,” Witt said. “At the end, I want each competitor to go from this a better Soldier and leader than when they started. Compete against each other and against yourself, but also become part of the team of competitors striving to be something larger than just themselves.”

    BWC winners will be announced tentatively January 2022 during the Service Member of the Year Banquet.



    Date Taken: 11.01.2021
    Date Posted: 11.02.2021 17:16
    Story ID: 408479
    Location: SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA, US 
    Hometown: CAMP ROBERTS, CA, US
    Hometown: LOS ANGELES, CA, US
    Hometown: ROSEVILLE, CA, US
    Hometown: SACRAMENTO, CA, US
    Hometown: SAN DIEGO, CA, US

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