NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For the first time in the competition's history, Tennessee will be hosting the national 2022 Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition, from July 24 to July 29.
All participants are winners of their states' individual competitions who went on to win their area's regional competition. The nation is divided into seven geographical regions and now the top seven Soldiers and top seven noncommissioned officers (NCOs) are competing in Tennessee.
Competitors from New York, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Minnesota, Texas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Oregon, Hawaii and Utah will all be vying for the top spot.
“Tennessee has the honor of hosting the competition this year, and we’re proud to showcase our state and all it has to offer,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Dale Crockett, Tennessee’s State Command Sergeant Major. “We have developed a rigorous competition that will challenge each competitor both mentally and physically through dynamic and realistic scenarios that take advantage of Tennessee’s unique training areas. The Soldiers at the National level are all world class athletes and motivated professionals that are masters of the fundamentals. This will be a hard-earned victory for the Soldiers that win, and awesome experience for all that compete.”
The competition involves over 30 evaluated events spread across many different locations, including Smyrna, Tullahoma, Lynchburg, Milan, Murfreesboro and Nashville.
“This year is unique because it is the first time Tennessee has hosted this event, and also the first year our NCO and junior enlisted won at the regional level,” said Crockett. “Competitors and visitors will be able to experience the rich culture of Tennessee while determining who will represent the National Guard.”
Some highlights of the multi-day competition include a combat fitness assessment and a survival swim at Middle Tennessee State University, day and night land navigation and day and night shooting at Tullahoma's Volunteer Training Site and a 16-mile road march in Lynchburg.
Each competitor will be tested on marksmanship and weapons skills, Army warrior tasks, board interviews, an obstacle course and other Soldier tasks that include stress-induced combat scenarios.
For the first time, an intensive "valor run" will also be featured in the competition, held at Tullahoma's Volunteer Training Site. It is nearly two and a half miles consisting of six stations that need completing. Each station highlights a different Medal of Honor recipient. When the competitors arrive, they will read the recipient's citation and then traverse a course that recreates the tasks the recipient performed to earn the Medal.
“Competitions like this inspire our Soldiers to strive for excellence and to find their limits, and exceed them,” said Crockett. “Tough realistic training is critical to ensuring our Soldiers are prepared to fight and win our nation's battles, and these highly trained and disciplined Soldiers are role models for our formations to emulate.”