NEWS | Sept. 9, 2019

Alaska Army National Guard names state-level Best Warrior winners

By Pfc. Grace Nechanicky Alaska National Guard Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Two Alaska Army National Guardsmen earned the title of Best Warrior in the state-level 2020 Best Warrior competition here Sept. 4-7 and will be continuing on to the regional competition.

The winners of this year’s competition are Spc. Delany Pletsch, 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment, as the best Soldier, and Sgt. Hector Colon-Ramirez, 49th Missile Defense Battalion, as the best noncommissioned officer.

“Over the past three days, these Guardsmen have been through a series of 15 events designed to test the physical and mental toughness of Soldiers,” said Command Sgt. Maj. James Nyquist, the state command sergeant major for the Alaska Army National Guard. “They have moved to each event, usually not knowing how they placed among their peers and sometimes not knowing if they got a go or a no-go.”

Some of the events testing their physical strength and endurance included weapons proficiency, a road march, land navigation, obstacle course maneuvers, marching drills, uniform inspections, an Army Physical Fitness Test and the new Army Combat Fitness Test. Competitors’ knowledge was tested via written essays and the command sergeant major oral board.

“Their scores were so close this year, it really came down to the last few events to identify the winners,” said Nyquist. “Any of these Soldiers would be extremely competitive at the regional level.”

A total of 5 Soldiers competed in the 2020 Best Warrior competition.

In case the winners are unable to compete at the regional competition, the second runners up are Spc. Jysamon Sanouvong, 297th Infantry Battalion, for the best Soldier category and Sgt. Fabiana Kirtley, 103rd Civil Support Team (Weapons of Mass Destruction), for the best noncommissioned officer category.

“They, as well as their command, should be extremely proud of their accomplishments,” Nyquist said.