The Georgia Army National Guard has named its best warriors for the year March 10, 2023, after a grueling, week-long competition at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
U.S. Army Spc. Nicolas White won the title of best Soldier while Staff Sgt. James Varley was selected as the state’s best noncommissioned officer.
Next, White and Varley will compete at the region level against Guardsmen from Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and the Virgin Islands.
This year, the Georgia Army National Guard will host the region competition to be held April 16-21.
Along with receiving their titles and trophies for winning the competition, White and Varley were awarded Georgia Commendation Medals.
Pfc. Joseph Odonovan received the Chad Mercer award for admirable performance in the competition.
The award is named in memory of U.S. Army Sgt. Chad Mercer, a Georgia Guardsman that competed multiple times in the State Best Warrior Competition. Mercer died in June 2005 during Operation Iraqi Freedom while assigned to 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
Over the course of five days, White and Varley competed against 16 fellow Georgia Guard Soldiers representing all five of the state’s brigades and major commands. Competitors included:
Pfc. Joseph Odonovan, an infantryman representing 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Spc. Trevin Moore, an infantryman representing 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Sgt. James Harper, a cavalry scout representing 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Spc. Lisandro Padilla, an artilleryman representing 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade
Sgt. Nathaniel Ammons, a horizontal construction engineer representing 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade
Spc. Mary Ruiz, an aviation operations specialist representing 78th Aviation Troop Command
Spc. Kingson McKenzie, an aircraft powertrain operator representing 78th Aviation Troop Command
Sgt. Quentin Holden, a Black Hawk helicopter repairer representing 78th Aviation Troop Command
Sgt. Cameron Wilson, a Black Hawk helicopter repairer representing 78th Aviation Troop Command
Pfc. Matthew Chester, a military policeman representing 201st Regional Support Group
Spc. Victoria McDuffie, a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialist representing 201st Regional Support Group
Sgt. Lucas Johnson, a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialist representing 201st Regional Support Group
Sgt. Kyle Myers, a military policeman representing 201st Regional Support Group
Spc. Brandon Lu, a signals intelligence analyst representing 78th Troop Command
Sgt. Jonathan Roundtree, a combat medical specialist representing 78th Troop Command
Staff Sgt. Angel Lopez, a wheeled vehicle mechanic representing 78th Troop Command
Both White and Varley represented the Marietta-based Joint Force Headquarters in the competition.
White is an indirect fire infantryman who resides in Marietta, Georgia. Varley is a cavalry scout who calls Woodstock, Georgia, home.
The Georgia Army National Guard’s mission is to provide the governor and president with ready, resilient and relevant forces to support unified land operations at home and abroad. Annual best warrior competitions give units a reason to hone lethality and ensure readiness, as well as provides a means for leaders to have awareness of their unit’s preparedness and recognize performers.
|FORT STEWART, GA, US
|MARIETTA, GA, US
|WOODSTOCK, GA, US
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