SHARPSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — The Antietam Battlefield was the scene Thursday for some “modern day” military maneuvers.
It was a chance for the Maryland National Guard and surrounding states hope to showcase their best. Soldiers in full gear took part in a survival competition to test endurance skills, critical thinking, land navigation and maneuvering through an obstacle course.
Soldiers from Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia participated and those advancing from this competition will soon be matched against National Guard soldiers from other regions of the country. Other sites for the competition are mountain ranges and the depths of the Chesapeake Bay.
“These competitions tend to bring out the excellence in soldiers,” said David Harry, Commanding Sergeant-Major. “So soldiers that compete in this, we’re pitting our very best against other states’ very best.”
The safety of the soldiers has been a concern with the pandemic so health and safety protocols are in place. But the goal is to strive for excellence and emerge as a “best warrior”
“We’re excited for all the competitors to be here,” said Captain Michael Fedner with the Maryland National Guard. “Among all the states he camaraderie is amazing.”
The Maryland Guard takes pride in its champions. When they advance to the next round against other states they meet soldiers with different backgrounds and experiences, building a bond with their colleagues in the military.
The winner of this regional competition will advance to a national stage.
This is the first year the Maryland National Guard has hosted the regional competition.