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NEWS | July 23, 2020

2020 Georgia Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition

By Spc. Tori Miller

The Georgia Army National Guard held the 2020 Best Warrior Competition at Clay National Guard Center, Marietta, Georgia between July 19-23, 2020.

Sergeant Michael Tenoschok, representing the Macon-based 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, won the competition for noncommissioned officers, and Sgt. Mason Mackrell, representing the Marietta-based 201st Regional Support Group, won the junior enlisted competition.

“Each competitor should be extremely proud of your accomplishments and what you have achieved thus far,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Jeff Logan, the Georgia Army National Guard State Command Sergeant Major. “I can assure all of you that these competitors showed high morals, discipline and live the Army Values. Each competitor here has the ability to serve as future leaders at higher levels in our organization.”

Nine Soldiers from across the state represented five brigades. For the competitors, it means a lot to represent their unit at the event. Tenoschok and Mackrell will represent not only their unit and brigade, but also the Georgia Army National Guard at Regional Best Warrior Competition at South Carolina in August 2020.

“It means a lot to win and take this victory back to my unit,” said Tenoschok. “I hope that this motivates my Soldiers to push themselves to keep bettering themselves.”

The Soldiers competed in more than 32 separate events during the five-day competition centered around equipment proficiency, warrior tasks and battle drills, medical knowledge and physical strength.

On the first two days of the competition, the Soldiers completed a written exam, an Army Physical Fitness Test, an Army Combat Fitness Test, weapons disassembly and assembly time test, Humvee tire change test and more.

“It took a lot of self-drive and a lot of heart to be successful in this competition,” said Mackrell. “I am proud to be Soldier of the Year because it is a representation of my leadership, my family and I am proud to be here.”

During the final three days of competition, the Soldiers tested in skills, to include night and day land navigation, a 10-mile ruck march, call for fire, searching a vehicle in a combat environment, reacting to indirect fire and a board appearance.

This year, COVID-19 posed an additional challenge to the competition. Event organizers distantly separated test lanes and required competitors to wear face masks when in close proximity. Participants disinfected equipment before and after each use to prevent spread of coronavirus. Additionally, medical personnel conducted temperature checks on competitors twice a day.

Competing Soldiers motivated one another during the event and pushed themselves to complete the tasks in an expeditious but thorough manner. By the end of the week, the competitors had built camaraderie through the difficult tests presented in the competition.

“The Georgia National Guard is a leadership factory and these competitors represent that,” said Brig. Gen. Randall Simmons, the Commanding General of the Georgia Army National Guard. “This competition is a victory for the organization. Organizations that fail to celebrate their successes tend to have fewer of them.”