MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --
Physical capabilities, leadership skills, teamwork and critical thinking are just some of abilities evaluated during the annual Best Warrior competition.
Two Airmen from the 167th Airlift Wing’s Security Forces Squadron received winning titles at this year’s West Virginia Best Warrior competition conducted April 23-25 at Camp Dawson in Kingwood, West Virginia.
Airman 1st Class Ethan Wilson earned West Virginia Air National Guard Airman of the Year and Staff Sgt. Anthony Zygmunt earned West Virginia Air National Guard Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year at this year’s competition.
“It’s a tough competition, but our guys really gutted it out and they did an excellent job,” said Capt. Rod Toms, 167th Security Forces Squadron Commander. “They represented the wing well and strengthened our relationship with the Army and DC Guards.”
Twenty-five Airmen and Soldiers from the West Virginia Army National Guard, West Virginia Air National Guard and the District of Columbia National Guard competed for top honors in the three-day competition, testing the troops on a wide range of skills and abilities such as a six-mile ruck march, swimming, land navigation, stress shooting, obstacle course, a written essay, a written test, appearance board and more. The total points calculated from each event decide the winners.
“I enjoyed it,” said Airman 1st Class Ethan Wilson, WVANG Junior Enlisted Airman of the Year. “It was a great opportunity to meet new people from the Army and get some good training in.”
“It was a lot more challenging than I thought it would be,” said Staff Sgt. Anthony Zygmunt, WVANG NCO of the Year. “We would be up from 4:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. doing tasks, so sleep deprivation was definitely the hardest part”.
Zygmunt hopes this victory will present training opportunities to the 167th.
“It shows that we are interested in this type of training and that we can do it,” he stated.
All warriors pushed themselves to the limit to demonstrate individual readiness and capabilities to support the state and nation exemplifying America’s total force and embracing the statement “we are One Guard”.