CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE, N.Y. (April 7, 2014) -- After days of difficult challenges, two Soldiers have taken top honors in the New York Army National Guard's Best Warrior Competition, held here Thursday through Saturday.
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Dorvee and Spc. Caleb Longley have proven that they have what it takes to represent New York at the northeast regional Best Warrior Competition.
Dorvee, a supply sergeant with the 1427th Transportation Battalion, is the winner of the Active Guard and Reserve,or AGR, Non-Commissioned Officer category. Dorvee scored the highest number of points in both NCO categories, and will therefore represent New York.
Sgt. Sean Massimo, a military policeman with the 442nd Military Police Company, is the winner in the Traditional NCO category. Longley, an engineer with the 152nd Engineer Support Company, is the winner in the Traditional Soldier category.
"I'm glad I got to come here," said Massimo, a resident of New Rochelle, N.Y. "I loved the competition."
Both champions of each NCO category won by less than a point, said Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Wicks, the New York National Guard senior enlisted adviser.
"This is the closest competition we've ever had," Wicks said.
The annual event tests competitors in a wide range of Soldier skills, including physical fitness, military knowledge, endurance, marksmanship and land-navigation.
There are more than 10,000 Soldiers in the New York Army National Guard.
"We developed the events based on the skills that every Soldier should have," Wicks said. "It makes me proud to see these Soldiers step up to the challenge in order to train with the objective to be the best of the best."
Each day of the competition started early, ended late, and was filled with physically demanding events with little time to rest in between. The second day of the competition began at 5:30 a.m., with an Army Physical Fitness Test, where Soldiers performed a specified number of push-ups and sit-ups, and completed a two-mile run within a specified time, based on their ages.
"The stress from this brings out your weaknesses and helps you realize what you need to work on," said Dorvee, a father of two and resident of Queensbury, N.Y. "I think this is beneficial for every Soldier."
This year, rain and other unfavorable weather conditions did not deter the competitors from trying their hardest.
"It was a very hard competition," said Longley, who lives in Pulaski, N.Y. "I felt prepared; but you can only prepare so much."
That's because every competitor had to prove their physical and mental proficiency, while also demonstrating that they could operate effectively under stress.
"The timeline for the events made transitioning extremely intense," said Dorvee. "I definitely have a sense of accomplishment."
At the northeast region competition, Dorvee and Longley will compete against the Best Warriors of Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and New Jersey.
"I'm nervous but I feel that this competition has really prepared me," said Longley. "I just plan to keep training and to do my best."
The Region One competition is scheduled to take place May 13-15, in Camp Ethan Allen, Vt.
"I'm extremely proud of the competitors," said Wicks. "It's obvious that each of the units sent the right Soldiers to this competition."