CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. – Troy Perez, a Yorktown Heights resident and a corporal in the New York Army National Guard, emerged from the 10,000-plus member force to win the Best Warrior Competition, a test of a soldier’s military knowledge, skills, and marksmanship.

The competition, held July 25-26 at Camp Smith Training Site in Cortlandt, includes an Army Combat Fitness Test and a 12-mile speed march with full pack.

Soldiers who win the Best Warrior Competition go on to represent New York in a regional competition being held at Camp Ethan Allan in Vermont in August. The winners of the regional competition then compete against National Guard soldiers from around the country. Eventually, the top soldiers in the Army National Guard, the Army Reserve, and the Active Army compete to be the top winner in the Army.

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“Only the top soldiers from across the New York Army National Guard participate in the Best Warrior Competition,” said Command Sgt. Major David Piwowarski. “To win, a soldier needs to be in great physical shape, be an excellent marksman, and have mastered the basic skills of soldering in the 21st century. It is a tremendous achievement.”

Piwowarski is the top non-commissioned officer in the New York Army National Guard and orchestrates the annual competition.

This year's contest also required staff and participants to take COVID-19 precautions, Piwowarski said. The contestants wore masks for non-physical events and temperatures were taken regularly, he said.

Perez, who serves in Alpha Company of the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, joined the New York Army National Guard in 2018.

In civilian life, Perez is an emergency medical technician in the New York City Fire Department.

Perez holds a bachelor's degree in business management. He is a graduate of the Army's Ranger School, the Airborne School, and the Combat LifeSaver Course.

His awards include the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.