September 21, 2014

AuGres man competing in ‘Best Warrior’ competition

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FORT LEE, Va. — Staff Sgt. Adam Little of the Army National Guard was one of 24 soldiers competing in the Department of the Army’s Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year Best Warrior Competition.

Little, a native of AuGres, said he has come a long way since joining the Army National Guard in 2001.

“Just competing is an honor,” he said.

The Best Warrior Competition selects 24 soldiers to compete for the title of Department of the Army’s Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year. Little said he and other soldiers have had to compete in a series of competitions throughout the year to qualify for the event held Oct. 18-22.

Little said soldiers from nearly all branches of the United States Army are represented in the competition.

“I get to represent the 380,000 National Guard soldiers, and that is an honor,” he said.

Little said he had to face a number of difficult simulations and drills that soldiers in combat situations would face.

“This is a competition of everything soldiers do,” he said. “I have been going through hand-to-hand combat situations, shooting, and an obstacle course.”

Little said one simulation he completed was based on urban warfare, where he had to carry an 80-pound pack around for three hours while encountering hostiles. He said the purpose of the simulations was to see how the different soldiers handled the situation.

“We (compete) three to five hours every day during the competition,” he said. “In some competitions there are between 15 and 30 events. We have to be able to perform on limited hours of sleep and food.”

Getting to this point was long journey for Little, who graduated from AuGres-Sims High School in 2001. He said he thinks that coming from a small town has given him his competitive spirit.

“I came from a small town with small-town values,” he said. “(AuGres) is a place where everyone stands up for what is right. I think that carried over for me.”

Little said he began his career in the National Guard right out of high school. He said he was sent to Leonard Wood, Mo., for basic training. He said he also spent time in Iraq from May 2003 until August 2004.

“Then I worked as a sheriff’s deputy in Washtenaw County,” he said.

Little said he got involved in the Best Warrior Competition as a way to train and test himself. He said winning the competition would be something he could not put into words.

“I would get to represent the entire Army and be a spokesperson for it,” he said. “That would be incredible. I cannot place a value on that.”

Little said that no matter what the result of the competition is, he is proud to compete and serve.

“We are fortunate to have the types of (soldiers) we have in this country,” he said.

Little said he would not have made it this far without the support of his family and people back home.

“It’s important to have the strong support of my family,” he said. “It’s comforting to know that the people back home are proud of you.”

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