Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th

(e.g. yourname@email.com)

Forgot Password?

    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    Spc. Jason Hall, Sgt. James Castro named 2024 West Virginia Soldier, NCO of the Year

    2024 WVNG Best Warrior Winners

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Justin Hough | U.S. Army Sgt. James Castro, assigned to B Troop, 150th Cavalry, is pictured with...... read more read more

    KINGWOOD, WEST VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES

    04.21.2024

    Story by Pfc. Ayden Norcross 

    153rd Public Affairs Detachment

    Twenty-five service members from the West Virginia and District of Columbia Army National Guard and West Virginia Air National Guard vied for top honors during the state’s Best Warrior Competition held April 19-21, 2024, at Camp Dawson in Kingwood, West Virginia.

    Sgt. James Castro, 1/150th Cavalry Regiment, earned the title of WVARNG Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

    Spc. Jason Hall, 1528th Forward Support Company (Special Operations) (Airborne), was named the WVARNG Soldier of the Year.

    The 167th Airlift Wing’s Staff Sgt. Kyle McKay earned top performing WVANG NCO and Senior Airman Max Howard, 130th Airlift Wing, earned top performing Airman honors.

    The DCNG named Sgt. Shaquille Bullock, Joint Forces Headquarters, and Pfc. Isaiah Castellanos, Recruiting and Retention Battalion, NCO and Soldier of the Year, respectively.

    The runner ups for WVARNG were Sgt. Matthew Black, 753rd Ordinance Company, and Spc. Ethan Vance, 201st Field Artillery Regiment.

    The Best Warrior Competition tests the service member’s physical and mental readiness as well as their warrior skills, with the winners of the competition going to the Region II Best Warrior Competition. This competition showcases the adaptiveness, resilience and lethality of National Guard forces, affirming the readiness of Citizen-Soldiers to meet the nation's challenges both at home and abroad.

    “You’re going to challenge yourself. That’s what we want you to do. You’re gonna figure something out about yourself,” said WVARNG Command Sgt. Maj. Chadwick L. Moneypenny.
    “Stay on the offense. Keep a positive attitude about everything you're doing and just get out there and have a good time.”

    The first competition of day one was a six-mile ruck march with a required carrying weight of 35 pounds.

    Next, the competition cadre walked the competitors through a dry-run of the obstacle course and a familiarization of map reading and weapons assembly. After that, the first day ended with a swimming event.

    “I’ve never swam in a combat uniform before, but I made it happen,” said Hall, winner of the WVARNG Soldier of the Year title.

    The second day of the Best Warrior Competition kicked off with a night into day land navigation event, where competitors had to navigate to points on a map using only a protractor and a compass.

    The competitors then completed a three-gun stress shooting event in which their marksmanship was tested on the M4A1 carbine rifle, M26 modular accessory shotgun system and the M17 pistol.

    The next event was the range run, where competitors were timed as they completed a three-mile course stopping at stations along the way that tested their warrior tasks such as an obstacle course, a grenade range, tactical combat casualty care, radio operations and a nuclear biological chemical attack lane where they donned M95 gas masks.

    Castro, the WVARNG Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, said the Best Warrior Competition is a great event for developing Soldiers and leaders. Competitors have the time and support to train up and learn the tasks, but, Castro said, they’re able to take back the training to their unit and help out the other Soldiers.

    After all of these physical tasks the competitors were tested mentally with an essay and a written test as well as their expertise in assembling, disassembling and checking the functions of weapons they used doing the three-gun stress shoot.

    The competition ended with an Army Combat Fitness Test, a six part test that includes a three repetition deadlift, a standing power throw, hand release push-ups, a sprint drag carry, a plank, and a two mile run.

    The winners will go on to compete in the Region II Best Warrior Competition held in Maryland next month.

    “At regionals I hope to just compete, do the best I can, and hopefully take it home.” said Castro.


    West Virginia Army National Guard Soldiers
    Spc. Mackinzey Bates, Medical Detachment
    Pfc. William Gay, Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 111th Engineer Bde.
    Spc. Jason Hall, 1528th Forward Support Co., 2/19th Special Forces Battalion, 77th Brigade Troop Command
    Pfc. Tyler Higginbotham, C Troop, 1/150th Cavalry, 77th Brigade Troop Cmd.
    Spc. Alexander Papadimitriou, Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 1092nd Engineer Bn., 111th Engineer Bde.
    Spc. Ryan Petty, A Battery, 1st Bn., 201st Field Artillery Reg., 77th Brigade Troop Command
    Spc. Seth Phillis, Det. 2, D Co., 1st Squadron, 150th Aviation, 772nd Bn.,111th Engineer Bde.
    Spc. Logan Ramsey, 3664th Maintenance Co., 771st Troop Command Bn., 111th Engineer Bde.
    Spc. Ethan Vance, C Battery, 1st Bn., 201st Field Artillery Reg., 77th Brigade Troop Command

    West Virginia Army National Guard Noncommissioned Officers
    Staff Sgt. Matthew Black, 753rd Ordnance Co., 771st Troop Command Battalion, 111th Engineer Brigade
    Sgt. James Bowen, 35th Civil Support Team, Army Interagency Training and Education Center
    Sgt. Antoine Cooper, 1528th Forward Support Company, 2/19th Special Forces Battalion, 77th Brigade Troop Command
    Sgt. 1st Class Tyler Alkire, Department of Emergency Services
    Sgt. Sarah Stevens, 119th Eng Co (Sapper), 1092nd Engineer Bn., 111th Engineer Bde.
    Sgt. Bradley Falls, C Battery, 1st Bn., 201st Field Artillery Reg., 77th Brigade Troop Command
    Sgt. Shane Yutzy, B Battery, 1st Bn., 201st Field Artillery Reg., 77th Brigade Troop Command
    Staff Sgt. Franklin Harris, 1st Modular Training Bn, 197th Regional Training Institute
    Sgt. James Castro, B Troop, 1st Squadron, 150th Cavalry Reg., 77th Brigade Troop Cmd.
    Sgt. Ryan Love, Joint Forces Headquarters
    Sgt. Andrew McGlothlin, Medical Detachment

    West Virginia Air National Guard Airmen
    Senior Airman Max Howard, 130th Airlift Wing
    Senior Airman Samuel Hardman, 167th Airlift Wing

    West Virginia Air National Guard Noncommissioned Officers
    Staff Sgt. Kyle McKay, 167th Airlift Wing

    District of Columbia Army National Guard Soldier
    Pfc. Isaiah Castellanos, Recruiting and Retention Battalion

    District of Columbia Army National Guard Noncommissioned Officer
    Sgt. Shaquille Bullock, Joint Forces Headquarters

    LEAVE A COMMENT

    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 04.21.2024
    Date Posted: 04.21.2024 16:22
    Story ID: 469034
    Location: KINGWOOD, WEST VIRGINIA, US

    Web Views: 94
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN