Soldiers Participate in Maine Best Warrior Competition

121st Public Affairs Detachment
Story by Spc. Jarod Dye

Date: 04.07.2019
Posted: 04.20.2019 18:21
News ID: 318906
Soldiers Participate in Maine Best Warrior Competition

The annual Maine Best Warrior Competition took place April 5-7, 2019 in the Bangor area. It pitted the best Soldiers in the state against each other in numerous events ranging from a 12-mile ruck march to marksmanship, to a written knowledge test.

“The Best Warrior Competition for is growing year after year after year,” said State Command Sgt. Maj. Mark A. Smith, the lead noncommissioned officer for the state and the lead organizer of the event. “Typically we have eight Soldiers, which is a good event, but this year we decided to go right from the company level, including 20 Soldiers competing against each other.”

The competition this year was bigger than ever. It was specifically created to allow Maine Soldiers to build relationships with each other in order to benefit their careers in the future.

“It’s building better camaraderie and competition,” said Smith. “If you're doing a two-mile run against nine other Soldiers rather than just three, you're going to try a little harder.”

The Soldiers, although competing, bonded over the common task they had to achieve together.

“Building the friendships in this competition is one thing I'm looking forward to seeing,” said Smith. “The camaraderie and the bonds these Soldiers are building should last a long time.”

Smith hopes that once these soldiers move upward in the organization, they will be at an advantage from the relationships they formed with the other leaders in this competition.

“I hope the Soldiers learn a little bit about themselves, what their limits are, how far they can push each other,” said Smith. “This is a grueling competition, it's not a foot race it's a marathon.”

This year the competition was unique from previous years as it included Soldiers from other nations.

“This year we have some national partners here from Canada which is certainly the first time ever,” said Smith. “I can already see the bonds, laughter, and camaraderie between the U.S. and Canadian soldiers, its awesome.”

Smith hopes the winners of the state title will be able to achieve success in the next level of competition.

“In the end what I’m looking for is the region one winner to be from the state of Maine,” said Smith. “I want the best NCO and best Soldier to represent our state and to hopefully win the Region 1 competition and move onto the National championship.”

Putting on the event takes a lot of preparation, it is one of the largest events put on by the Maine National Guard each year.

“I would like to thank the support staff for everything they have done for the best warrior competition,” said Smith. “It's been a great competition, again 20 competitors, a much larger task for resources and cadre.”

The Soldiers who participated will return to their units and be able to share some of the experiences and new skills they have learned.

“There's plenty of good stories for Soldiers to take back to their units,” said Smith. “Hopefully to motivate Soldiers in their units to participate in the best warrior competition next year.”