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NEWS | April 23, 2024

Kentucky, Tennessee Win Regional Best Warrior Competition

By Milt Spalding, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

GREENVILLE, Ky. – Soldiers from Kentucky and Tennessee earned top honors in the 2024 Army National Guard Region III Best Warrior Competition April 14-19.

Hosted by the Kentucky National Guard, the event put Soldiers from 10 states and territories through a week of grueling challenges to see which Soldier and NCO would finish with the most points.

Spc. Noah Green, a combat engineer assigned to the 890th Sapper Company, Tennessee Army National Guard, earned the top honor as Region III Soldier of the Year. Sgt. Robert Buck, a horizontal construction engineer assigned to the 130th Engineer Support Company, Kentucky Army National Guard, was named NCO of the Year.

“It’s an honor anytime you get chosen by a region or state to represent at the next level,” Green said. “I feel very proud and very blessed to be in this room with all of these Soldiers and be able to do what we do.”

“I’m excited for [Tennessee] because now these Soldiers are going to take what they learned here back to their units and make better Soldiers all around,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Charles F. Haynes of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee.

These winners had to beat the top entries from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Soldiers were tested on their military skills, endurance, intellect and might over more than 30 events.

Highlights included Army warrior tasks, individual movement techniques at a grenade training range, rifle, pistol, and grenade launcher qualifications lanes, an obstacle course, water survival, medical skills, a stress shoot event, a raft-run-ruck challenge and military operations in urbanized terrain.

Kentucky State Command Sgt. Maj. Jesse Withers said the Best Warrior Competition tests and enhances the skills and combat effectiveness of NCOs and Soldiers.

“I really wanted to take the approach of looking at the capabilities of the force structure within the Kentucky National Guard and how we can enhance our available training facilities in order to deliver the best possible competition to all of the competitors,” Withers said. “And hopefully, we delivered on expectations for those competitors.”

In addition to WHFRTC events, competitors were flown via UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters courtesy of the 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade to the Harold L. Disney Training Center near Barbourville for the combat water survival test, land navigation and other events.

“This is an awesome opportunity and I am thrilled. Every person here is deserving, but I am honored to be the winner,” said Buck. “I am going to do my best to train and prepare for the All Army. I want to represent Kentucky the best way I can and bring home a win.”

Green and Buck advance to the Army National Guard’s Best Warrior Competition this fall in Vermont, which crowns the overall title for this year’s Soldier and NCO of the Year.

Region III runners-up were Spc. William Hillman, an air defense battle management systems operator from 1-204th Air Defense Artillery, Mississippi Army National Guard, and Staff Sgt. William Lukens, an infantryman from 2-278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Tennessee Army National Guard.




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