BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) About 20 National Guard soldiers from the 701 competed in the Best Warrior Competition. The competition isn’t just a walk in the park, however. It is a physically and mentally challenging three-day competition that tests competitors on a variety of technical and tactical skills. They participate in land navigation, marksmanship, weapons skills, urban operations, an assault course, a written essay, and an appearance before a board of sergeants major.

“It’s a good time, it’s fun. You get to network with a lot of other soldiers that otherwise you don’t get to meet,” said Sergeant Avery Johnson, the Best Warrior Non-Commissioned Officer winner. “You get to see the best of the best. Everybody sends top-quality soldiers to this competition.”

“They pulled out the (1940s) Physical Fitness Test on us. It is something that I didn’t think to train for and it leaves you gassed. Grandpa was tough,” said Sergeant Deyton Slama.

“We got to shoot the M320 Grenade Launcher. That was my first time shooting a grenade launcher and I had a blast,” said Specialist Caleb Claxton.

These competition winners get to advance to the regional competition next Spring in Washington state.

For information on the North Dakota Army National Guard, click here.