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NEWS | April 24, 2023

Tennessee, Georgia Guardsmen are Southeast’s Best Warriors

By Spc. Kinsey Geer, 124th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORT STEWART, Ga. - Tennessee and Georgia Guardsmen were named the Army National Guard’s best warriors in the Southeast after a grueling, week-long competition April 16-21.

U.S. Army Spc. Jackson Jacobs, an artillery forward observer, Regimental Fires Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry, Tennessee Army National Guard, won the competition as Region III’s best warrior.

“I am extremely humbled to have come out on top. We had some great guys out here and it has just been a wonderful experience getting after it with them this past week,” said Jacobs. “I have to credit my leadership, Command Sgt. Maj. Young, Command Sgt. Maj. Gaston, Command Sgt. Maj. Houston, Sgt. 1st Class Earles, Staff Sgt. Labeau and Sgt. Navarro for pushing and supporting me throughout the competition. Without them, I would not be here.”

The Georgia Army National Guard’s Sgt. Quentin Holden, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew chief with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 1-106th Aviation Regiment, 78th Aviation Troop Command, took the title of best noncommissioned officer of Region III.

“My biggest takeaway from competing in the Region III Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition is that if you work hard and apply yourself,” said Holden. “You can accomplish well beyond what you think you’re capable of.”

Holden and Jacobs will advance to the Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, July 6-15 to compete against other Soldiers and noncommissioned officers from across the country who won their region contests.

Along with titles and trophies for winning the competition, Holden and Jacobs received Georgia Commendation Medals for taking the title of best warrior and noncommissioned officer of the Southeast.

Holden and Jacobs competed against 17 fellow Army National Guardsmen, representing the states and territories of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and the Virgin Islands. The competition field included:

Spc. Charles Hendrix, a military police officer representing the Alabama Army National Guard.
Staff Sgt. Ayaan Dani, a military police officer representing the Alabama Army National Guard.
Spc. Adrian Neco, a logistics specialist representing the Florida Army National Guard.
Sgt. Joshua Kirby, a combat engineer representing the Florida Army National Guard.
Sgt. Nicolas White, an indirect fire infantryman representing the Georgia Army National Guard.
Spc. Garner Offutt, a fire control specialist representing the Kentucky Army National Guard.
Staff Sgt. Jared Zerhusen, a military police officer representing the Kentucky Army National Guard.
Spc. Logan Hunt, an indirect fire infantryman representing the Mississippi Army National Guard.
Sgt. 1st Class Steven Gonzalez, a construction engineer representing the Mississippi Army National Guard.
Spc. Logan Lawhorn, a military police officer representing the North Carolina Army National Guard.
Sgt. 1st Class Charles McWhorter, a military police officer representing the North Carolina Army National Guard.
Spc. Joshua Ochart, a water purification specialist representing the Puerto Rico Army National Guard.
Sgt. Emmanuel Rodriguez, a military police officer representing the Puerto Rico Army National Guard.
Spc. Garrett Miller, an artillery forward observer representing the South Carolina Army National Guard.
Staff Sgt. Keenan Summers, a combat medic representing the South Carolina Army National Guard.
Sgt. Gerardo Navarro, a combat medic representing the Tennessee Army National Guard.
Pfc. Brayan Chinnery, a water purification specialist representing the Virgin Islands Army National Guard.

Participants competed in events that challenged their physical readiness and mental fortitude.

Events included the Army Combat Fitness Test, a 14-round obstacle course, a multiweapon stress shooting event, the Army Combat Water Survival Test, a 15-mile timed road march, and several others, all graded by senior enlisted leaders who were subject matter experts.

The Army National Guard’s mission is to provide governors and the Department of Defense with ready, resilient, and relevant forces supporting unified land operations at home and abroad.

Maximizing readiness and lethality is the National Guard’s top priority. The 2023 Region III Army National Guard Best Warrior and NCO Competition demonstrated our most ready and lethal forces.

 

 

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