Wyoming Military Soldier Engages in National Competition
Spc. Aiden Carroll went to compete in the 2021 Army National Guard National Best Warrior Competition which took place July 19th through July 23rd in Flagstaff, AZ. Carroll is a Horizontal Construction Engineer with the 133rd Engineering Company in Laramie, WY. But Carroll didn't just have competing on his mind, he wanted to win.
Last April, Carroll won the Wyoming state competition and then in June, he won the Region Six title in Oregon. Knowing the national competition would be his toughest challenge yet, Carroll wanted to bring a national championship back with him to his home state of Wyoming.
At the national competition, Carroll faced off against 13 other top competitors, each being pushed to their own limits over the course of five days. Not just from a physical standpoint, but also mentally. Carroll mentioned that each night prior to the next day of competition was spent preparing for the next day's events.
With over 20 events throughout the competition, each with its own set of challenges within the event itself, the contestants engaged in competitions such as a three-gun challenge, combat water survival, and more. There was also a never-ending ruck march on the fourth day of the competition, which Carroll said to be the worst of the events:
We were on the ruck and thought it was going to be short, so I was moving at a good pace...By the time we got back to base, we had someone on the side of the road give us some advice to pace ourselves. My legs were killing me. It sucked, but we made it through.
Despite being pushed past their own limits, the soldiers enjoyed the competition and also quickly made friends with each other along the way, even helping one another throughout the competition in the events.
1st Sgt. Glenn Worley for the 133rd Engineering Company said Carroll was, "the perfect face for the enlisted soldiers of the Wyoming Guard."
At the completion of the competition, the Soldiers sat with each other at a banquet where the Soldier of the Year as well as Noncommissioned Officer of the Year would be named. Sgt. William Lukens, a Tactical Power Generator Mechanic with the 208th Area Medical Support Company out of Tennessee, took the title of Soldier of the Year. And it was Staff Sgt. Zachery Carlson, a Special Forces Engineer with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group out of Utah, who was named Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.
The two winners will advance on to compete with winners of the Army Reserve and Active Duty Army competitors in the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition.
Carroll spoke of what his plans were for future competitions:
I plan to take a few years off from this competition. Hopefully, I can help other Soldiers who want to compete, then take another run at it myself once I’m an NCO.
Spc. Aiden Carroll definitely represented Wyoming well at the 2021 Army National Guard National Best Warrior Competition.
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