An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Sept. 21, 2020

Arizona, Mississippi Soldiers are Best Warriors

By Lt. Col. Deidre Smith Mississippi National Guard

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Soldiers from the Mississippi and Arizona National Guard won this year's premier Army National Guard Competition, known as the National Best Warrior Competition.

Staff Sgt. Mitchell Scofield, Mississippi National Guard, and Cpl. Daniel D'Ippolito, Arizona National Guard, were named the Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier Best Warrior Winners 2020, respectively.

Staff Sgt. Matthew Ortiz, New York National Guard, and Spc. Jakob Ellingson, Minnesota National Guard, were the Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier runner-ups in the competition.

The winners were announced Sept. 16 during an awards ceremony at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center.

Scofield and D'Ippolito were both selected by their peers to receive the Best Warrior Ultimate Teammate Award for exceptional sportsmanship and exemplary comradery for the four-day competition, which included 20 challenging events incorporating military skills proficiency in categories such as marksmanship, physical fitness, land navigation, and combat lifesaver medical skills.

Asked how he prepared for the competition, D'lppolito said: "I want to go in and knock it out of the park, and I want to make everybody proud. I want to represent the National Guard well and I want to represent the state and my family."

Scofield described how he felt about winning.

"I never would have imagined it in a million years," Scofield said. "I just wanted to, No. 1, for my family to be proud of me for what I do and, No. 2, represent the 154th RTI (Regiment Regional Training Institute) and the state of Mississippi to make them proud as well."

The National Best Warrior Competition recognizes Soldiers who personify the warrior ethos, live by the Army values, and represent the future warfighter. Fourteen of the nation's best Army National Guard warriors, of the approximately 335,000 Guard Soldiers eligible to compete, battled the clock, their peers, the weather and simulated enemy forces.

The events tested each competitor's knowledge, technical and tactical skills, physical endurance, mental toughness and overall combat readiness.

The competitors had diverse experience and backgrounds, including leadership and experience in military professions such as infantrymen, cannon crewmember, transportation specialist, combat medic, engineer specialist, military police, satellite communications operator, chemical specialist and cavalry scout. They have traveled around the globe, including Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Kuwait, and showcased those experiences in their quest for the coveted Best Warrior title.

States represented in the national competition by regional winners included Texas, North Dakota, Arizona, New York, Maryland, Kentucky, Minnesota, Illinois, Arkansas, South Dakota, Mississippi, and Nevada.

The events were held at Camp Shelby Joint Force Training Center in Hattiesburg and Camp McCain Training Center in Grenada.

"It has been an incredible honor for the MSARNG to host this year's Army National Guard 2020 National Best Warrior Competition," said Cmd. Sgt. Maj. John T. Raines III, senior enlisted advisor for the Mississippi National Guard. "What you have seen over the past week was the culmination of a few years' worth of planning and rehearsals by the entire MSARNG team."

The winners advance to the virtual All-Army Best Warrior Competition to compete against all components of the Army – active, reserve and National Guard – later this year.

Next year's Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition will be hosted by the Arizona National Guard. In 2022, the Tennessee National Guard will host the event.



Related Articles
New York Army National Guard Sgt. Peter Fillion, an infantryman assigned to Charlie Troop, 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry Regiment, lobs a simulation grenade during the 2024 Region I Best Warrior Competition on Camp Smith, New York, May 14, 2024. Soldiers threw grenades in six scenarios during the event, one of many taskings during the four-day competition.
New York, Connecticut Soldiers are Regional Best Warriors
By Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Pietrantoni, | May 20, 2024
CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE, N.Y. – New York and Connecticut National Guard Soldiers took the top slots in the regional Best Warrior Competition that concluded in lower Manhattan May 16.New York Army National Guard Sgt. Peter...

Spc. Carter Cooper of the Virginia National Guard and Staff Sgt. Alexander Wilkinson-Johnson of the Maryland National Guard were named the National Guard Bureau’s Region Il Best Warriors for 2024 in the Soldier of the Year and Noncommissioned Officer categories at Aberdeen Proving Ground-Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland, May 10, 2024.
Maryland, Virginia Guardsmen Are Regional Best Warriors
By Maj. Erica Mitchell, | May 13, 2024
EDGEWOOD, Md. – After four days of competition, Spc. Carter Cooper and Staff Sgt. Alexander Wilkinson-Johnson were named the National Guard Bureau’s Region II Best Warriors for 2024 in the Soldier of the Year and...

New York Army National Guard medics assigned to the Headquarters Company of the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, conduct a road march in New York City May 16, 2021. In the 2024 Northeast region Best Warrior Competition, 16 Soldiers from New York, New Jersey and New England will participate in events across New York state.
New York Army Guard Hosts Regional Best Warrior Competition
By Eric Durr, | May 10, 2024
NEW YORK - The Northeast region Best Warrior Competition, hosted by the New York Army National Guard May 13-17, will be held at locations across the state.The 16 Soldiers from New York, New Jersey and New England competing to...