Soldiers, Airmen contend for Best Warrior title

Airman 1st Class Broderic Peddicord, joint terminal attack controller, 284th Air Support Operations Squadron, participates in the Kansas National Guard’s Best Warrior Competition, March 11. As part of the competition, Peddicord was required to disassemble and reassemble various weapons, and check them for malfunctions as quickly as possible. (Photo by Master Sgt. Matt McCoy, 184th IW Public Affairs)

By Master Sgt. Matt McCoy
184th Intelligence Wing Public Affairs

Airmen assigned to the 284th Air Support Operations Squadron competed with Soldiers from across the state in the Kansas National Guard’s Best Warrior Competition at the Great Plains Joint Training Center near Salina, March 10-12.

Airman 1st Class Broderic Peddicord and Staff Sgt. Jacob Mattern, both joint terminal attack controllers, 284th ASOS, took first place in the Soldier category and second place in the noncommissioned officer category, respectively.

The three-day competition included mostly field events, such as an Army physical fitness test, daytime and nighttime land navigation and weaponry tests. The tasks were centered on skills and knowledge used by Soldiers on the battlefield.

Though the Airmen stuck out a little, they stayed focused on the mission at hand.

“We got a lot of interesting looks just based on what we’re wearing,”said Peddicord, “but it’s good to come show off our squadron and show what we can do.”

The Kansas weather added interesting twists to the event, especially with a snowstorm that occurred during a weaponry skills course. The course required contestants to hike a few miles while stopping at scattered stations to disassemble, reassemble and troubleshoot various weapons.

Just as the event kicked off, a winter storm blew in. However, it didn’t seem to affect the performance of the contestants.

“My fingers were cold but it didn’t make me fail any tasks,” said Peddicord.

The games provided opportunities for the Airmen to bond with the Soldiers they could possibly deploy with at any time in the future.

“We support the Army, so it’s good to let them know what we do and what our capabilities are,” said Peddicord. “So if we do work with them down range in the future, they’ve already worked with us and we already have that mutual respect.”

In all, there were 13 competitors representing the Air and Army Guard. Cpl. Ryan Marsh, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 137th Infantry Regiment, won the noncommissioned officer category. Spc. Zachary Seyferth-Davis, 169th Combat Sustainment Battalion, placed second in the Soldier category. Seyferth-Davis went on to compete in the Region V Best Warrior Competition in Pineville, Louisiana, May 23-26, along with Sgt. Matthew James Gillet, 242nd Engineering Company