Soldiers from the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas Competed in the National Guard's Region 5 Best Warrior Competition held at the Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, Arkansas this week. Arkansas National Guard Staff Sgt. Lawrence Raymond Advances to Nationals

Staff Sgt. Lawrence Raymond of Bravo Company, Recruiting and Retention Command, Arkansas Army National Guard, and Spc. Devon Thompson, Charlie Troop, 1st Battalion, 134th Cavalry Regiment, 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Nebraska National Guard won the regional event and will advance to the 2018 National Best Warrior Competition.

The 2018 National Best Warrior Competition will be held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5, 2018 at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., and the Pentagon.

Arkansas Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Lawrence Raymond of Bravo Company, Recruiting and Retention Command, will represent the Arkansas National Guard at the 2018 National Army Best Warrior Competition at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., and the Pentagon from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5, 2018.

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey will oversee the 17th annual competition, which names the Department of the Army's Soldier and Non-commissioned Officer of the Year.

Warriors selected to compete for these prestigious titles - 11 Soldiers and 11 NCOs - have already mastered a series of benchmarks throughout the year to qualify for the DA-level competition.

During the six-day competition, these elite competitors will test their knowledge, skills and abilities by conquering urban warfare simulations, demonstrating critical thinking, formal board interviews, physical fitness challenges, written exams, and warrior tasks and battle drills relevant to today's operating environment.

Soldiers from the Arkansas National Guard have previously won the nationwide National Guard Best Warrior title in 2012, 2013 and 2014.