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Utah National Guard soldier takes home top honors at regional competition

Published: Wednesday, April 10 2013 3:12 p.m. MDT

DRAPER — A Utah Army National Guard soldier proved to be the best at a recent regional competition.

Sgt. Conlee Luke, a Cedar City resident and member of the 116th Engineer Company, 1457th Engineer Battalion, took top honors in the Noncommissioned Officer category at the Region VII Best Warrior Competition April 5-7 in Fort Carson, Colo.

The three-day competition featured soldiers from Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. Each state or territory sent its very best representatives to compete.

Luke completed a number of tests including an obstacle course, physical fitness, a road march with 85 pounds of gear and equipment, weapons expertise and shooting accuracy, land navigation, tactical communication, a graded media interview, written examination, review board in front of four sergeants major and a mystery event that involved problem solving, outdoor survival and a helicopter rescue.

With Luke's first-place overall finish, he will advance to the Army National Guard Best Warrior event and compete with other regional winners in his category.

Sgt. John Christiansen, of Centerfield, Sanpete County, and a member of Bravo Battery, 1-145th Field Artillery, represented the Utah Guard in the Soldier category, making a strong showing overall and achieving the highest score in the mystery event.

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