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Meet the Best Warriors: 2017 Best Warrior Competition

One of the toughest tests of a warrior’s resolution and training is the Best Warrior Competition. The competition is a multi-day marathon of mental and physical trials, pushing these elite service members to their limits. This year’s competition is conducted at multiple locations throughout Maryland. This year’s competition includes soldiers, noncommissioned officers, and commissioned officers of the Maryland Army and Air National Guard as well as soldiers from the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Estonian Defence Forces.

Meet this year’s Best Warriors.

Soldier Competitors

Spc. Samuel Consentino
Unit: HHC, 58th EMIB
Maryland Army National Guard
Military Occupation35F – Intelligence Analyst

“I’ve gone through a bunch of challenges in my military and personal career, and I feel like I’m ready for another one.”

Spc. Michael Cunningham
Unit: HHC, 1297th CSSB
Maryland Army National Guard
Military Occupation74D – Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Specialist

“I think I am a well rounded service member who takes the time to learn and maintain these skills.”

Spc. Phillip Flint
UnitCo. B, 1-175th Inf. Regt.
Maryland Army National Guard
Military Occupation11B – Infantry

“The three years that I have been in the National Guard I’ve had a lot of good mentors who have taught me well, and I think that their training will help me do well in this competition.”

Sgt. Urmo Kägo
Unit: 1st Infantry Brigade
Estonian Defence Forces
Military Occupation: Learning Technician

“I will try and do my best and see how it goes against the other country’s soldiers.”

Pvt. Vedad Karić
Unit: Tactical Support Brigade
Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Military Occupation: EOD Technician

“I will try to give everything for the best results.”

Spc. Connor Rodriguez
Unit: 2-20th SF Augmentation Det.
Maryland Army National Guard
Military Occupation: —

“What makes me suited for this competition is my personal, educational, and military background. I feel like I’m pretty well versed in the subject matter that they are going to be testing us on, and I feel like I’m up for a challenge.”

NCO Competitors

Sgt. Charles Contic
Unit32nd CST
Maryland Army National Guard
Military Occupation74D – Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Specialist

“We’ve all studied and prepared in our own ways, and I think it’s going to be a good competition.”

Tech Sgt. Brenton Deal
Unit: 175th Medical Group
Maryland Air National Guard
Military Occupation: 4B0X1 – Bioenvironmental Engineering Specialists

“My willingness to put forth all the time required to train both physically and mentally for an Army-centric event. Most of it, events, regulation, doctrine, I’ve never seen before in my life, but I’ve taken the time to do it, and do it willingly.”

 

Staff Sgt. James Hawley
Unit: 110th IO Bn.
Maryland Army National Guard
Military Occupation19D – Cavalry Scout

“I love the Army, love what I do. I love doing it and sharing it with others, I want to take it the next level.”

Sgt. Matija Ivaković
Unit: 3rd Inf. Bn., 6th Inf Bde
Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Military Occupation: Infantry

“I’ll try to be the best.”

Staff Sgt. Joseph Jacoby
Unit: 253rd Eng. Co.
Maryland Army National Guard
Military Occupation: 12B Combat Engineer

“It’s [BWC] one of those career changing events that I want to apply myself to. I want to be a good example for my soldiers, and if an opportunity like this comes along, you can’t say no.”

Staff Sgt. Nathan Perry
Unit1100th TASMG
Maryland Army National Guard
Military Occupation: 15P – Aviation Operations Specialist

“They’re here for a certain reason. They look pretty tough, but I don’t cower to easy.”

Staff Sgt. Martin Ring
Unit: 1st Infantry Brigade
Estonian Defence Forces
Military Occupation: Mechanic

“I am in great physical shape, so I think I can do any of the physical tasks, and I’m well rounded in every other aspect.”

Officer Competitors

2nd Lt. Igor Emkić
Unit: 1st Inf. Bn., 6th Inf. Bde.
Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Military Occupation: Infantry

“We had trials that proved that we are the best, and so we came to do our best and represent Bosnia and Herzegovina in the best way.”

Capt. Alexi Franklin
Unit32nd CST
Maryland Army National Guard
Military Occupation: 11A – Infantry Officer

“I think I’ll do pretty good. It’s a stiff competition. I think that a lot of it is going to be preparation, but also luck.”

Maj. Vladimir Kuznetsov
Unit: 1st Infantry Brigade
Estonian Defence Forces
Military Occupation: Staff Officer

“I’ve always been competitive in different competitions in the Estonian Defense Forces. I always like the APFT and all the military tasks. So I think that this is a good chance to try out my skills.”

Warrant Officer Roger Rippeon Jr.
Unit: C Co., 2-224th Avn. Regt.
Maryland Army National Guard
Military Occupation: 153D UH-60 Black Hawk Pilot

“I’m always constantly striving to do the best for the organization, and represent the warrant officer cohort and try to do the best in this competition the best that I possibly can.”

2nd Lt. Christopher Smith
Unit: C Co., 1-175th Inf. Regt.
Maryland Army National Guard
Military Occupation:11A – Infantry Officer

“As an enlisted soldier, I did a lot of training in the warrior tasks and battle drills, which we are covering here. I think that generally all leaders, especially small unit leaders owe it to their soldiers to maintain proficiency in these tasks to set an example and to compete in these types of events.”

 


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