Northeast Top National Guard Soldiers Compete to be "Best Warriors" At Camp Smith May 16-19

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Spc. Robert Marino, runs through smoke during the stress shoot competition during the New York National Guard Best Warrior competition on April 19, 2018. ( Photo by Sgt. Harley Jelis)

CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE, CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. (05/16/2018) (readMedia)-- Sixteen National Guard Soldiers from eight northeast state will compete to be the "best warriors" in the region at National Guard's Camp Smith Training Site here from Wednesday through Saturday, May 16-19.

Members of the media are invited to visit Camp Smith on Thursday, May 17, at 11 a.m. to cover the stress shoot portion of the competition.

WHO: Sixteen Army National Guard Soldiers from Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

WHAT: A competition testing the Soldiers' physical fitness, military knowledge, endurance, marksmanship, and land navigation skills. New York Army National Guard units send Soldiers who did well at their perspective unit-level competitions. Soldiers who win at Region One event will advance to the national level and compete against representatives of both the Active Army and the United States Army Reserve. The competition is also structured to provide Soldiers with the opportunity to earn the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge.

WHEN: Media opportunity on Thursday, May 17, at 11 a.m.

WHERE: Camp Smith Training Site on Routes 6 and 20 in Cortlandt Manor, just north of Peekskill.

For access to this secure military facility, members of the media must contact Staff Sgt. Michael Davis at 845-656-8702.

Visual and Coverage Opportunities:

Visual imagery opportunities include Soldiers moving tactically between skill evaluations on Camp Smith Training Site and performing weapons qualifications during a "stress shoot" event, which tests their ability to engage silhouetted targets while maneuvering, pulling a simulated casualty, and carrying weighted cans. Interviews with senior leaders and participants can be coordinated.


Region One Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition:

During the competition, enlisted Soldiers from across eight states will compete against each other for the Best Warrior title in Soldier and NCO categories.

The winners at Camp Smith will face off against their counterparts from the Active Army and the U.S. Army Reserve.

The competition tests the Soldiers' knowledge in the areas of military justice, current events and Army history, security and intelligence operations, military courtesy, leadership, counseling and how to deal with chemical and biological weapons. The participants negotiate land navigation courses by day and night, and take an Army Physical Fitness Test to determine who gets the top score.

Participants are quizzed by a board of senior sergeants who evaluate them on their ability to handle stress and military appearance. They are graded in their ability to handle hands-on military tasks, as well as their marksmanship ability with the M4 carbine. The contestants must qualify with their assigned weapon and also score well during the "Stress Shoot" event that involves firing several different weapon systems.

Soldiers will also compete in a 12-mile road march carrying a 35-pound pack around West Point.

Camp Smith Training Site:

Camp Smith is the largest of three training locations owned by the state of New York and operated by the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs for the New York National Guard. The 1,613 acre facility includes 126 acres housing 50 buildings, along with 229 acres of range and 1,256 acres of wooded training area. The site was first used by New York to train state militia in 1888. Camp Smith has been in continual use since then.

Soldiers can train on M4 carbines, M16 rifles, M240B machineguns, M9 pistols, and the M14 sniper rifle at the existing ranges, and conduct infantry tactical training on the wooded hillsides. Along with units of the New York Army National Guard, Army Reserve, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and the Corps of Cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point, use the training facilities.

Camp Smith is also home to the headquarters of the all-volunteer New York Guard and houses patrol boats used by the New York Naval Militia.