FORT STEWART, Ga, - The Georgia National Guard hosted the state Best Warrior Competition at Fort Stewart, Georgia between March 4-9.

Sgt. Nicholas Brisbay, a military policeman, representing the Marietta-based 201st Regional Support Group, was named the winner of the noncommissioned officers, and Spc. Lucas Johnson, a chemical specialist, representing the Marietta-based 201st Regional Support Group, was named the winner of the junior enlisted competitors.

"As junior leaders, I need you to truly lead by example," said Command Sgt. Maj. Roy Marchert, Georgia National Guard Senior Enlisted Adviser. "When you go back to where you are from and start to tell your story about what you did here this week, just remember that all eyes are on you. That is critical."

Twelve competitors from around the state represented four brigades. For the competitors, it means a lot to represent their unit during the state competition. Brisbay and Johnson will represent not only their unit and brigade but the Georgia National Guard at regional Best Warrior Competition at North Carolina in May 2019.

"It feels amazing to win," said Johnson. "This opportunity is going to help progress in my career, and it means everything."

During the six-day competition, competitors were evaluated on 36 separate events including weapons qualification, military knowledge, and physical strengths.

During the first few days of the competition, competitors completed a swim test, an Army Physical Fitness Test, weapons qualifications - including a 3-gun stress shoot event, weapons disassemble and reassemble and qualifications of the M-4 rifle and M-9 pistol - a military operation on urban terrain course and an initial military training course.

"I have wanted to compete in this competition since I was a private," said Brisbay. "I have learned that a lot of things are not given, but they are earned and if you want something you need to earn it."

During the final days of competition, competitors completed many events including night and day land navigation, modified Army Combat Fitness Test - including hand-release push-ups, deadlift 240 lb., leg tuck, sled drag, and a 3-mile run a 12-mile weighted ruck march, call for fire, general knowledge test, and a board appearance.

"I have pushed myself farther than I ever have before," said Johnson. "We all worked really hard this entire week."

Competitors motivated one another during the events and pushed themselves to complete the tasks in an expeditious but thorough manner. By the end of the week, competitors had built camaraderie through the difficult tasks that had been presented in the competition.

"There aren't too many folks out there that serve a cause larger than themselves," said Maj. Gen. Thomas Carden, The Adjutant General of Georgia... "For you to come out and compete and lay it all on the line makes you a winner. Thank you to our winners, you took it to the next level."