PINELLAS PARK, Fla. | A Hobart-based U.S. Army Reserve officer on Friday was named the winner of the Best Warrior Competition.
Sgt. Blayne Peterson, 21, a Winamac native, is a health care specialist from 7203rd Medical Support Unit in Hobart.
Peterson was ranked No. 1 when all scores were tallied in the five-day competition, U.S. Army Reserve officials said.
The competition took place at Pinellas Park and Camp Blanding in Florida.
The competition included a timed written exam, physical fitness test, and a number of mentally and physically challenging exercises such as a 10-kilometer road march, M-4 rifle qualification, urban warfare orienteering, an Army Combative Tournament and a mystery event.
Peterson said one of the hardest parts of the competition for him was running with all his gear on in the 10-kilometer march.
"It's been a long few days but definitely worth it," Peterson said.
Peterson deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation New Dawn in 2011.
As a 2010 graduate of Winamac Community High School, Peterson works as a physician substitute with Saturn Bio-Medical in Indianapolis.
Peterson is also working toward becoming a nurse practitioner at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
"Being a civilian one day and serving my country the next day is very rewarding. I will always be a soldier first, and I get to share that with my civilian friends and family as well," Peterson said.
The Best Warrior Competition was developed in 2002 by Jack Tilley, a retired sergeant major of the Army, as a test of a soldier’s physical endurance, military knowledge, current events and mental perseverance.
Peterson began the competition at unit level, rising to command level and continuing on to higher command intended to select the noncommissioned officer and junior enlisted Soldier of the Year for AR-MEDCOM.
Peterson now advances to train and prepare through U. S. Army Reserve Command, and upon winning will go on to represent the Army Reserve Command to the Army wide Best Warrior Competition later in the year.