2021 Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition

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The Army National Guard’s Best Warrior Competition is a physically and mentally challenging three-day competition that tests competitors on a variety of technical and tactical skills. From land navigation, marksmanship and weapons skills, to urban operations, an assault course, a written essay and an appearance before a board of sergeants major, competitors employ a range of skills relevant to today’s operating environment.

The competition promotes espirit de corps and recognizes Soldiers who demonstrate commitment to the Army Values and embody the Warrior Ethos. Winners are named the Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year and go on to represent the Army Guard in the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition later this year. There, they’ll compete against Soldiers from throughout the Army to be named the Army’s Soldier and NCO of the Year.


Army Guard finds its best warriors in the Grand Canyon State

By late morning of the second day of the 2021 Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition, Spc. Addison Smith, assigned to the Texas Army National Guard’s 1st Squadron, 112th Cavalry Regiment, admitted he was a little worn down...

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Tennessee Guardsman wins Soldier of Year competition

Sgt. William Lukens, a tactical generator mechanic in the Tennessee Army National Guard’s 208th Area Support Medical Company in Smyrna, won the 2021 Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Camp Navajo, Arizona...

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Photo Gallery
2021 Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition



SPC Adam B. Barlow

Utah Army National Guard

13J Fire Control Specialist
HHB, 65th Field Artillery Brigade, UTARNG
Years of Service: 3 years
Age: 21
Hometown: Lindon, UT
Military Schools: Fire Control Specialist School

SPC Henry J. Brucken

Indiana Army National Guard

11B Infantryman
Delta Company, 1-151 Infantry, INARNG
Years of Service: 4.5 years
Age: 22
Hometown: Lynnville, IN
Military Schools: Air Assault Course

Staff Sgt from the Utah National Guard

Staff Sgt from the Utah National Guard

Utah Army National Guard

SPC Aiden N. Carroll

Wyoming Army National Guard

12N Horizontal Construction Engineer
Delta Company, 1-151 Infantry, INARNG
Years of Service: 2 years
Age: 20
Hometown: Hillsdale, WY
Military Schools: Airborne School

SFC Ryan M. Corcoran

Rhode Island Army National Guard

79th Recruiting and Retention
Rhode Island Recruiting and Retention Battalion, RIARNG
Years of Service: 14 years
Age: 31
Hometown: Westerly, RI
Military Schools: Anti-Terrorism Officer Course, Common Faculty Development-Instructor Course, Basic Military Police Course, Ranger School, Air Assault School

SGT Jakob N. Ellingson

Minnesota Army National Guard

88M Motor Transport Operator
114th Transportation Company, MNARNG
Years of Service: 3 years
Age: 26
Hometown: Minnetonka, MN
Military Schools: Air Assault

SGT Alexander M. Graverly

West Virginia Army National Guard

68W Combat Medic
HHB 1-201st Field Artillery Battalion, WVARNG
Years of Service: 2 years
Age: 22
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
Military Schools: Combat Medic School (AIT)

SGT William T. Lukens

Tennessee Army National Guard

91D Tactical Power Generation Specialist
Years of Service: 3 years
Age: 22
Hometown: Murfreesboro, TN
Military Schools: Air Assault School

SGT James V. McGill

Maryland Army National Guard

68P Radiology Specialist
Years of Service: 8 years
Age: 29
Hometown: Warwick, NY
Military Schools: Airborne School

CPL Dakoatah M. Miller

New York Army National Guard

11B Infantryman
Years of Service: 3.7 years
Age: 21
Hometown: Cortland, NY
Military Schools: Army Air Assault School

SPC Addison J. Smith

Texas Army National Guard

19D Cavalry Scout
A-Troop, 1-112th Cavalry Regiment
Years of Service: 1 year, 9 months
Age: 20
Hometown: Richmond, TX
Military Schools: Cavalry Scout School

SSG Stepen C. Southerlin

Texas Army National Guard

11B Infantryman
C-Troop, 1-124th CAV, 56th IBCT, 36th Infantry Division
Years of Service: 12 years
Age: 30
Hometown: Waco, TX
Military Schools: Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course, Ranger School, Airborne School, Rappel Master, Air Assault

SSG Brandon T. Wendland

North Dakota Army National Guard

12C Bridge Crewmember
957th Engineer Company MRBC
Years of Service: 6 years
Age: 30
Hometown: Balaton, MN
Military Schools: Rappel Master, Air Assault