NEWS | May 17, 2021

Five Alaska Guardsmen compete for title of “Best Warrior”

By Spc. Marc Marmeto 134th Public Affairs Detachment

Five soldiers competed in the Alaska Army National Guard’s annual “Best Warrior” Competition that was held May 12-16 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
The noncommissioned officers and junior enlisted Soldiers were tested on their Army aptitudes, readiness, and skills in board interviews, written exams, and warrior tasks and drills.
They endured six days of physical and mental challenges starting with the brand new Army Combat Fitness Test just minutes after their first initial briefing on the competition. In between the first and last events of the competition were a rucksack march, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and the long and grueling obstacle course that tested the Soldiers’ physical capabilities. They ended the last day with an appearance to the board where the participants answered questions from senior noncommissioned officers.
“Everyone should think about competing in this to test themselves,” said one of this year’s competitors, Spc. Jysamon Sanouvong, a military police officer assigned to the 49th Military Police Ground Based Interceptor Security Company. “It gives you a newfound sense of appreciation for how much you can push yourself and test your military professionalism.”
Each year, one NCO and one junior enlisted member are chosen among their peers in the competition as the “Best Warrior,” who exemplifies and demonstrates the Army values and epitomizes the warrior ethos.
“This is what you signed up and live for when you think about the Army,” said Spc. Robert Cline, another competitor and an infantryman assigned to the 1st Battalion, 297th Infantry Regiment. 
Cline further stated that he encourages Soldiers who are hesitant to compete to do so.
“I went into this thinking I would not do well, but as the days go on I’m gaining more confidence in being the Soldier I want to be.”