NY Army National Guard Specialist Ilya Titov, a Rockaway Park resident, is Best Warrior in NY National Guard enlisted ranks

Four-day event in tests Soldier knowledge, skills and physical fitness

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LATHAM, NY (05/11/2018) New York Army National Guard Specialist Illya Titov, a Rockaway Park resident, has been named the top junior enlisted Soldier in the 10,000- member New York Army National Guard.

Titov, a member of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, was awarded the honor following the New York National Guard's annual Best Warrior Competition at Camp Smith Training Site near Peekskill April 18 to 22.

Titov will now compete against seven Soldiers from New England and New Jersey to be the best in the northeast region May 16-19 at the Camp Smith Training Site. The winner in that competition goes on to compete against National Guard Soldiers from across the country.

Titov, who enlisted in the New York Army National Guard in 2013, said he entered the competition to challenge himself and to see how far he could go.

"I always knew my training in the 69th Infantry is exceptional and I wanted to put that to the test," he said. "Also, I was told I have to win."

Titov competed against three other Soldiers representing the major New York Army National Guard commands from around the state.

Another member of the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry --Sgt. Quentin Davis-- was named best warrior in the non-commissioned officer category which includes sergeants, staff sergeants and those in the rank of sgt. first class.

Davis will also be competing in the regional competition.

The best warrior competition tests a Soldier's physical fitness, military knowledge, marksmanship, and military skills.

The evaluated tasks, specifically designed to mirror what Soldiers must do in combat, included urban warfare simulations, a 12-mile forced march, Soldier tasks and battle drills, marksmanship and board interviews, physical fitness tests, and written exams.

The Soldiers also had the opportunity to compete and earn the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge thanks to an arrangement with the German Army Liaison Office at the United States Military Academy. West Point is located just across the Hudson River from Camp Smith.

The competition tested each Soldier in various events such as:

  • Ten "hands-on" Army warrior tasks.
  • First aid on the battlefield.
  • Land navigation using a map and compass.
  • The Army Physical Fitness Test.
  • Day and night land navigation.
  • Stress shooting, where Soldiers must negotiate obstacles and perform physical tasks while shooting;

And a military appearance board answering questions of the Guard's senior enlisted force.

In the past, the road march, in which Soldiers carry a 25-pound load and a weapon, was held at Camp Smith. This year it was held at the United States Military Academy at West Point and finished at the Fort Putnam historic site high above the Hudson River.

This marked the third year that the competitors also had the opportunity to earn the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge during the competition.

The German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge is one of the few approved foreign awards American service members can wear. The first phase consist of the basic fitness test, which included an 11x10 meter sprint, chin-ups, and 1000 meter run.

Titov earned this award along with being named Best Warrior.

Titov's military awards include the rmy Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal.

Titov holds an associated degree in business. He is currently serving in Joint Task Force Empire Shield, the New York National Guard security augmentation force in New York City.

The competition was very physically demanding and also required mental focus, Titov said.

"You have to prepare and give it all you got," he said. "You can't just sit and wait for it to come; you have to prepare for it, you have to be on top of it."