Soldiers do deadlift outside while other watch.

Photo by Staff Sgt. Jennifer Reynolds, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Jonathan Cecil, with 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, completes a deadlift during the Army Combat Fitness Test portion of the 2020 Ohio Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition July 11, 2020, at Defense Supply Center Columbus in Columbus, Ohio. The daylong event determined the OHARNG’s top Soldier and noncommissioned officer for the year.

Video by Staff Sgt. Michael Carden, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

2020 Ohio Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition crowns top Soldier, Noncommissioned Officer of Year

Story by Staff Sgt. Jennifer Reynolds, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

COLUMBUS, Ohio (07/16/20)

Eight of the Ohio Army National Guard’s finest took part in the 2020 Best Warrior Competition July 11 at Defense Supply Center Columbus. The competition was modified this year to account for health and safety considerations with regard to COVID-19, and the participating Soldiers had the unique experience of competing while wearing personal protective equipment.

For this year’s competition, the Soldiers were challenged with the new Army Combat Fitness Test, a battery of Army Warrior Tasks and a written essay.

The Best Warrior Competition recognizes the top performing Soldier and noncommissioned officer out of a field comprising the best Soldiers and NCOs representing the OHARNG’s major subordinate commands. The competition is designed to identify those competitors who best represent the Army Values and live the Warrior Ethos.

“We had an outstanding competition today,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Sheldon Chambliss, the OHARNG state command sergeant major. “The competitors were highly motivated and just wanted to separate themselves from their peers. They will take the standards they were evaluated on today back to their organizations.”

Today’s Army warriors have to excel both physically and mentally, as Soldiers need to be able to shoot, move and communicate — the basic necessary elements to be successful in a combat situation — in every type of operating environment. Ohio’s Best Warrior Competition embodied this as the event coordinators and participants were challenged to conduct the event during the COVID-19 pandemic, while still ensuring the safety of all involved.

“My essay was on caring for Soldiers,” said Sgt. Benjamin Noble, of Beavercreek, Ohio and an infantry assistant team leader with Troop C, 2nd Squadron, 107th Cavalry Regiment, based in Xenia, Ohio. “It’s important to be available, attentive and to follow through dealing with Soldiers’ issues,” said Noble, who was the winner in the NCO category. “I’ve always appreciated NCOs that take care of people.”

Cpl. Dauren Mason, of Columbus and a team leader with the 323rd Military Police Company, based in Toledo, Ohio, was the winner in the Soldier category. “I’m excited to go see what competition other states have,” he said.

The next step for the BWC winners is the Army National Guard Region IV Best Warrior Competition, to be conducted at a date to be determined in Marseilles, Illinois. There, state winners from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin will vie for recognition as the best in the Midwest.

Noble with award Mason with award

Photos by Staff Sgt. Jennifer Reynolds, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs