Greenwood Lake Resident Wins Northeast Regional Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition

Greenwood Lake resident and member of the New York Army National Guard won the National Guard's Best Warrior Competition for the northeast region at the Regional Training Institute here which was held April 29 to May 2.

Sgt. 1st Class Martin Cozens, a platoon sergeant assigned to Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment, New York Army National Guard, is the non-commissioned officer winner. Cozens was sponsored by 1st Sgt. Daniel Markle, who is also Cozens' unit first sergeant.

Soldiers in the rank of sergeant through sergeant first class compete in the NCO category, while those in the rank of private through specialist compete in the enlisted category. With this victory, Cozens move on to the next round of competition.

Cozens won the four day event which tested everything from his military knowledge and skills, physical fitness, marksmanship and stamina. He went up against Soldiers from eight other states in the region which spans from Maine all the way through New York and New Jersey, winning along side Cpl. Joseph Ryan who won the enlisted category.

"I am very proud of Sgt. 1st Class Martin Cozens and Cpl. Joseph Ryan," said Command Sgt. Major David Piwowarski, command sergeant major of the New York Army National Guard. "They outperformed a tough and ready field of competitors from the region and won it all. They outran, outshot and outthought the competition. They are truly the New York Army National Guard's best warriors."

Coming up next is the competition for the overall Army National Guard's 2019 Best Warrior which is being hosted by the Oklahoma Army National Guard at Camp Gruber, Okla., July 13-20. This next round will determine the best warriors of the entire Army National Guard, who then go on to compete against the winners from active duty and Army Reserve.

The tasks in these competitions are designed to simulate what a Soldier might experience in combat. Passing a physical fitness test is mandatory, however failing any of the other tasks will only lead to a lower score as they continue through the competition.

Tasks the Soldiers get evaluated on include:

Obstacle course

Call for indirect fire

Weapon qualification

Day and night land navigation

Stress shooting where Soldiers must negotiate obstacles and perform physical tasks while shooting

Hands-on skills lanes

Cozens works full time as an analyst for the New York State Counter Drug Task Force since May 2017, starting just after he enlisted in the New York Army National Guard after serving more than six years on active duty with the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum. He has deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2013 and has been awarded the Pathfinder badge, Expert Infantryman Badge and Combat Infantryman Badge.

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