By Cadet Leah McPeek, 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Representative
LAFAYETTE, La. – The Louisiana Army National Guard’s 256th Tiger Brigade held their Best Warrior Competition in Lafayette, La., Feb. 22, in which the two “best warriors” from each battalion throughout the brigade competed, an enlisted Soldier and a Noncommissioned Officer.
The fourteen competing Soldiers were tested on physical fitness and Warrior training tasks. The Warrior training tasks included knowledge in land navigation, evaluation and performance of first aid, weapon operation and communication by tactical radio.
The Guardsmen also went before a board of evaluators, who judged the Soldiers on appearance and proper wear of the Army Service Uniform, the ability to communicate, and knowledge of various Army topics.
“What I’m looking for in a Soldier is someone who is well-rounded,” said 1st Sgt. Jonathan Zeno, a member of the board.
This year’s top honors were awarded to two Slidell, La., residents, Spc. Parris Andrews and Staff Sgt. Matthew Broughton, both of whom are with the 1st Battalion, 141st Field Artillery Regiment of New Orleans, La.
“From this experience, I learned to stay motivated, to make sure you have prepared yourself, and to always stay focused,” said Andrews. “A lot of my mentors and sponsors who are here guided me on the right path, and I take this as a learning experience.”
Both Andrews and Broughton will go on to the state level Best Warrior Competition, to be held in March. They will compete against Soldiers from all units in the Louisiana Army National Guard.
Broughton wants to encourage younger Soldiers, saying, “Stay physically fit, take guidance from the NCOs and always stay motivated.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Sapp feels confident in this year’s brigade winners. He said, “This year, I think we’re going to take it all!”