FORT BENNING, Ga. - The road to the Army National Guard Best Warrior competition has ended for one North Dakota soldier, but not without a great deal of success.
Spc. Adam Walsvik of Hazen advanced through numerous tests, interviews and physical challenges to reach the finals in the nationwide competition. The winner - Spc. Guy Mellor from Utah - was announced during the Enlisted Association National Guard of the United States Conference.
"We couldn't be prouder of Spc. Walsvik's accomplishments. Simply reaching this level of competition, being one of the seven best Army National Guard soldiers in the entire United States, is a significant accomplishment. It's indicative of this young soldier's drive and determination to be the best soldier he can be," said State Command Sgt. Maj. Gerald Miller.
Submitted Photos --
ABOVE: Spc. Adam Walsvik works his way along the inverted rope descent in an obstacle course at Fort Benning, Ga., shown in this photo by Clint Wood.
The road to the Army National Guard Best Warrior competition was a long one. First, Walsvik competed at the company level, winning Soldier of the Year for the 188th Engineer Company (Vertical).
Then, he represented the 188th at battalion level and moved on to the first phase of state-level competition at Camp Grafton Training Center near Devils Lake, in September 2008. There, Guardsmen competed in a variety of events to test their soldiering skills including a physical fitness test, written test, day and night land navigation tests and weapons qualification, as well as writing an essay on the Army values.
The second phase came in February 2009, when Walsvik came out on top after facing a board of sergeants major asking a barrage of questions on current events, military history, maintenance, supply, military law, awards, acronyms, Army manuals, first aid and more. He was named North Dakota's Soldier of the Year during the Combined State Associations Conference banquet Feb. 21. From May 14-17, Walsvik competed in, and won, the regional Best Warrior competition in Fort Lewis, Wash.
He trained and studied along the way, and then left July 30 for Fort Benning, Ga. After a few intensive days of physical endurance tests, weapons qualification and question-answer sessions, Walsvik toured Washington, D.C., with the group of competitors and then moved on to Rochester, Minn., for the Enlisted Association National Guard of the United States Conference Aug. 8-13.
Walsvik, son of Dan and Sue Walsvik, of Hazen, joined the National Guard in December 2005. He earned an associate's degree in civil engineering and surveying technology from North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton. He will begin working with the North Dakota Department of Transportation at the end of this summer.