BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After nearly a year of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Maryland National Guard are competing against each other in a series of events in hopes of winning the title of Maryland’s Best Warrior.

It’s a competition of strength, stamina, and mental fortitude.

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“This is a great opportunity for soldiers to hone their individual skills, evaluate them and affirm them,” Master Sergeant Amber Insley, of the Maryland National Guard, said.

“This is an opportunity for soldiers to come out and showcase what they’re capable of,” Captain Ryan Slaughter, of the Maryland National Guard, said.

The soldiers will spend four days squaring off in 11 events. There will be an obstacle course, land navigation, and even written tests.

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“It’s a combination of their training, both mentally and physically,” Captain Slaughter said.

It’s also an opportunity for them to have a little fun and build comradery, all while preparing for their next mission, whatever that should be.

“It just puts you in a lot of dynamic situations where you have to do a lot of critical thinking and it kind of gets you into the mindset that you need to accomplish the mission regardless of what needs to happen,” Sergeant James McGill, of the Maryland National Guard, said.

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The winners go on to a regional competition and then national in hopes of earning the title of Nation’s Best Warrior.

Sean Streicher