Louisiana National Guard
Featured NewsLouisiana Army National GuardNews ReleasesTraining

Soldiers from the 139th Regional Support Group compete for best warrior honors

By Sgt. 1st Class Scott D. Longstreet, Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office

PINEVILLE, La. – Soldiers from the Louisiana National Guard’s 139th Regional Support Group competed in the RSG’s Best Warrior Competition at the Louisiana National Guard Training Center Pineville in Pineville, Louisiana, January 25-28.

The four-day competition is an annual event that tests Soldiers and non-commissioned officers on the basic and advanced warrior tasks and skills. The highest scoring Soldier and NCO will represent the 139th RSG at the State BWC competition this spring.

“The BWC is comprised of several training events that challenge and test each Soldier differently,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Donald G. Lavalais, 139th Regional Support Group senior enlisted advisor. “The best warrior has to face and endure toughness that showcases their mental capacity, resiliency, integrity, strength and educational abilities.”

Ten competitors began day one with an Army Combat Fitness Test. Upon completion of the ACFT, competitors continued to test their physical limits on the obstacle course. Day one continued with competitors completing a weapons challenge, which required the disassembly and reassembly of multiple weapon systems. Once completed, competitors concluded day one with a written essay that tested their logical reasoning and analysis skills.

Command Sgt. Maj. Lavalais believes that each day of the competition highlights the true value of dedication and perseverance to all competitors.

“I tell the competitors that they are not competing against their peers, they are competing against themselves,” he said. “You can finish last in one event and still come out on top as the best warrior.”

On the second day, competitors were tested on land navigation, reacting to enemy contact and casualty assessment where they were evaluated on their ability to assemble a radio and call in a 9-line medical evacuation.

Staff Sgt. John K. Chambliss, 2228th Military Police Company, 773rd Military Police Battalion, 139th Regional Support Group, is competing for a second straight year. He discussed advantages to competing again.

“It helps me keep the right mind frame,” the Baton Rouge native said. “It also gives me an advantage mentally at being resilient. I know not to stop when I am tired, but when I am done.”

On day three, the marksmanship skills of the competitors were tested as they were required to qualify on both the M4 carbine rifle and the M17 9mm pistol. Once completed, competitors concluded the competition with a 12-mile ruck march while carrying a 35 lb. rucksack and weapon.

As the only female competitor, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 139th RSG’s Spc. Natalie G. Arceneaux, a Baton Rouge native, mentioned how she personally improved throughout the competition.

“The competition allowed me to not only learn new information, but also accomplish things I did not think I could accomplish, and it’s a great feeling,” said Arceneaux. “I did not give up on myself, and continued to push through when it was hard. I made sure to keep going until I completed the challenge.”

The final day concluded with an awards ceremony where competitors were joined by Command Sgt. Maj. Lavalais and command teams from each unit within the 139th RSG. All competitors received coins from each command team along with certificates of appreciation.

Sgt. Ian. T. Chauvin, of Hammond, and Spc. Eddie R. Brooks, of Jena, both from A Company, 415th Military Intelligence Battalion, 139th RSG were named the top NCO and Soldier of the Year for the 139th and will compete at the State BWC in April 2024.

In addition to the other awards, both winners were awarded with the Army Commendation Medal.

Chauvin believes the biggest challenge that he faced during the competition was keeping healthy.

“It is a challenge to keep enough food and water in your system while maintaining focus on the competition,” said Chauvin. “If you keep trucking forward, you will reach that finish line and feel great overcoming the challenges and obstacles.”

While Chauvin focused on staying healthy, Brooks identified himself as his main competition.

“I competed against myself as opposed to competing against the others to prove what I could do,” said Brooks. “I went further than I was expecting.”

Arceneaux and Chambliss were awarded Army Achievement Medals and named the alternates for the State BWC.




Pin It on Pinterest