The Army National Guard’s Best Warrior Competition At Camp Ripley
Competitors who have already made it through their unit, state and regional level competitions are competing at the 4-day long national event starting today. After lots of time training and preparation, the competitors could not wait for the competition to get underway at Camp Ripley.
“The hardest part is the anticipation, just waiting. Once the competition gets started it’s kind of a blur from that point forward so that’s when your training kicks in and it’s all mussel memory from that point forward,” said Staff Sgt. Dustin Rottero, a Drill Sergeant from Tennessee.
Of the 7 Army National Guard regions that are competing, there is one competitor that is representing Minnesota.
“It’s a big honor to represent Minnesota and Region 4 here at the National Competition. It’s a level that really allows you to see where you are at and test your own abilities,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel Sebo, an Instructor at Camp Ripley.
Due to the hot weather, the outdoor portion of competition was pushed back and the competition started with the writing and exam portion.
“We don’t know the order of the events or really what all of the events even are so going into it being able to think of the fly and be adaptive to the environment is going to be a big test but I am looking forward to that,” Sebo said.
The competition will include several events that test them on their proficiency with weapons and their ability to perform military tasks all while working under pressure.
“It’s been exciting but stressful at the same time to add an extra layer of work on top of the daily duties back in Tennessee. But feeling compelled to do this for the soldiers and everybody I’m representing,” Rottero said.
The event is something new for Camp Ripley to host, and they’ve also spent months in preparation to make sure they represent Minnesota well.
“It’s a huge honor to be able to be able to do a national event like this. We host a lot of regional competitions and certainly a lot of activity that the state puts on. But to host a national competition for the National Guard is truly an honor,” said Staff Sgt. Anthony Housey, Camp Ripley Public Affairs.
On Thursday, the competition will come to a close at Lake Itasca where the public is invited to come and cheer at the finish line. One top soldier and one non-commissioned officer will continue on to the all-army best warrior competition in October.