Hawaii Army National Guard Soldiers Compete in the 2019 Best Warrior Competition

Posted on Mar 2, 2019 in In The News

117th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment (Hawaii)
Story by Staff Sgt. Christopher Martens
Friday, March 1, 2019
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS – Six Soldiers from the Hawaii Army National Guard competed to be named the Hawaii Guard’s best during the 2019 Best Warrior Competition, held at Schofield Barracks March 1-3. The grueling joint competition, which also included twelve competitors from the 9th Mission Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve, is held annually, and is designed to test each Soldiers mental and physical endurance.
Although the competition generally focuses on the individual ability of the competitors, both the Hawaii Army National Guard leadership, and the competing Soldiers see a much greater benefit.
“It’s important for the individual Soldier and Noncommissioned officer who volunteers for this to earn recognition for themselves personally,” said Maj. Gen. Arthur J. Logan, Adjutant General, Hawaii National Guard, as he explained the positive impact the Best Warrior Competition has on individual esprit de corps as well as collective esprit de corps within the Hawaii National Guard.
“Readiness is the number one mission…individual skill techniques that they’re learning out here are important as they grow as young leaders,” Logan said. “You’re building readiness every time you hold an event like this.”
This year’s competitors endured a grueling three-day competition that included an Army Physical Fitness test, a twelve mile road march, written tests on various warrior tasks, land navigation, weapons qualification, evaluation on various warrior tasks and battle drills, and an appearance board.
The Hawaii Army National Guard winners were Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Staff Sgt. Paulo Napoles, Hawaii Recruiting and Retention Battalion, and Soldier of the Year: Spc. Martin Tran, 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
For Napoles, the competition was a chance to grow as a leader.
“It’s about being in an uncomfortable position in order to grow as an NCO,” said Napoles. “I’m here to make an impact for the junior enlisted.”
For Tran, the competition is about becoming a better Soldier.
“This competition strengthened my confidence in warrior tasks,” said Tran. “It was a test of skills.” Ultimately though, Tran’s fondest memory of this competition is meeting and competing with other Hawaii Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers.
Napoles and Tran now move on to the Army National Guard regional level competition which will be held May 20-24, 2019 in Hawthorne, Nevada. If victorious in Nevada, they move on to participate in the national competition.