Spc. Luk Silk, assigned to the Sniper Section of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-102nd Infantry Regiment is presented the Army Commendation Medal from State Command Sgt. Maj. John Carragher, for his success during the Connecticut Best Warrior Competition at Camp Niantic March 23-26. Silk was named Connecticut’s Soldier of the Year and is scheduled to compete at the regional competition next month. (US Army photo by Spc. Kaitlyn Wallace, 130th Public Affairs Detachment/released)

 

CAMP NIANTIC, Conn. – Soldiers from units across the Connecticut Army National Guard competed in the Best Warrior Competition, March 23-26, for the title of Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

Spc. Luk Silk, a Glastonbury native, assigned to the Sniper Section of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-102nd Infantry Regiment, was announced as the Soldier of the Year for the 2017 Best Warrior Competition.

Silk, and other competitors, were pushed every day of the competition to test their ability to adapt, react, and function during stressful scenarios. Each event was implemented to demonstrate the different skills a Soldier should have.

Competitors were graded on how fast each task was completed and how well the task was done in order to receive points. The Soldier with the most points at the end of the four-day event was crowned champion.

Silk was selected to represent his unit in the competition because he had the highest physical fitness test score of 340 points on the extended scale.

In order to best prepare themselves, Soldiers train months in advanced, with guidance from their mentors.

“I started training about 4 or 5 months ago,” Silk said. “I should have done more strength training though.”

He taught land navigation classes at his unit, which helped him out with that portion of the competition, Silk said. He had received most of his points from the day and night land navigation course.

Silk’s mentor was Silk’s team leader, Sgt. Dan Buerk. Buerk was extremely helpful in training and during the competition itself, Silk said.

Silk enlisted in 2014 as an infantryman, and works for the Connecticut National Guard full-time as a federal technician in the Combined Support Maintenance Shop associated with Allied Trades.

This is the second consecutive year a Soldier from the 1-102nd Infantry Regiment’s Sniper Section has won the state level Best Warrior Competition. In 2016, Spc. Nathan Havens took home the title.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all that the sniper section has represented Connecticut two years running,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Dan Morgan, Senior Enlisted Leader of the 1-102nd Infantry Regiment. “They grit and determination a Soldier has to show to earn the right to be assigned to the sniper section is a mini-Best Warrior Competition in itself. We couldn’t be prouder of Spc. Silk.”

Silk will now move on and represent Connecticut in the Regional Best Warrior competition, where he will take on the Soldier of the Year winners from Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.

 

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