FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - A hometown hero claimed one of the top titles at the 2020 National Guard Best Warrior competition at Camp Shelby.
The four-day competition wrapped up on Wednesday afternoon and winners were announced during an evening ceremony.
In Camp Shelby’s first time to host the competition, a guardsman who works at the post took home one of the top two prizes.
Staff Sgt. Mitchell Scofield of the Mississippi National Guard was named National Best Warrior Non-Commissioned Officer. Scofield works at Camp Shelby in the 154th Regiment Regional Training Institute.
“I never would have imagined it in a million years,” Scofield said. “I put in a lot of hard work, but there was a lot of other really good competitors here and the competition was just very stiff. I never expected to win.”
Cpl. Daniel D’Ippolito of the Arizona National Guard was named National Best Warrior Soldier.
“I didn’t believe it, honestly,” D’Ippolito said. “There were so many other competitors that were way better than me in a lot of the areas, and I think just overall. I stayed consistent and apparently, that was enough to win.”
The event featured 14 guardsmen from around the country competing in over 20 events to determine the National Best Warriors of 2020.
The final day of the competition had the warrior soldiers competing in a rescue mission involving simulated casualties, radio skills test and gearing up for nuclear and biological warfare.
During the week, they also competed in obstacle courses, weapon qualifications and stress shooting, among others.
Sgt. Sidney Romero was one of the competitors at the event and said the training is invaluable for the soldiers and he’s made new friends and memories in the process.
“Not only is it just a competition but as well as great training, and to see where you stand against the other states in the nation," Romero said. "And it enhances the interest of soldiers to get more involved and compete and then be able to train more. We all excel within our regions and this just pertains to the whole nation as to who’s the best one, and at the end of the day everyone is unique in their own way.”
Next year’s national competition will be held in Arizona and in 2022 it will be held in Tennessee.