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FORT MCCOY, Wis. - At 5 a.m. today (April 11), 15 Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers representing units across the state began their day with push-ups, sit-ups and a two-mile run - the first three events in a demanding three-day gauntlet that will test their abilities in marksmanship, physical fitness and endurance, land navigation, Soldiers skills and military bearing. The grueling schedule will also test each competitor's composure.

These Soldiers are competing for the prestige of being the Wisconsin Army National Guard's Best Warrior and Best Noncommissioned Officer. Winners will advance to compete against National Guard Soldiers from six other states at the regional event next month at Camp Ripley, Minn.

The Wisconsin Army National Guard has enjoyed success in recent years, sending competitors to the National Guard Bureau's Best Warrior Competition in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.

The competition at Fort McCoy is not open to the public, but check out photos from each day of the competition on the Wisconsin National Guard Flickr site. Video footage will also be posted on the Wisconsin National Guard YouTube channel.

Best Warrior competitors include: Spc. Nickolas Bergeman (McFarland, Wis.), 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade; Spc. Curtis Bluel (Elkhorn, Wis.), 64th Troop Command; Spc. Christopher Kohn (Eau Claire, Wis.), 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team; Spc. Micah Lancaster, 64th Troop Command (Watertown, Wis.); Pfc. Matthew Malacara (Racine, Wis.), 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade; Spc. Philip Stepanski (West Bend, Wis.), 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team; and Spc. Zachary Warnke (Oshkosh, Wis.), 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Best Noncommissioned Officer competitors include: Sgt. Ryan Bleskey (Somerset, Wis.), 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team; Sgt. Hector Gavalin (Sparta, Wis.), 64th Troop Command; Sgt. Nicholas Gries (Green Bay, Wis.), 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team; Sgt. Steven Jopek (Lake Mills, Wis.), 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team; Sgt. Michael Kehoss (West Allis, Wis.), 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade; Sgt. Nicholas Kenton (Waunakee, Wis.), 64th Troop Command; Sgt. Michael Sentkowski, 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team; and Sgt. 1st Class Dustin Zabinski (Holmen, Wis.), Recruiting and Retention Battalion.

 


 

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