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Pfc. Garrett Witherspoon, 2nd Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, conducts a function check on an M-249 light machine gun, Nov. 18, at Smyrna’s Volunteer Training Site. Witherspoon competed against his peers in a series of physically and mentally challenging exercises, eventually taking home the title of Soldier of the Year. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Cordeiro)

SMYRNA, Tenn. – A Tennessee National Guardsmen from Murfreesboro competed in the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment’s Best Warrior Competition and earned the title of Soldier of the Year, Nov. 19, at Smyrna’s Volunteer Training Site.

Pfc. Garrett Witherspoon, an infantryman assigned to 2nd Squadron, 278th ACR, competed against three other Soldiers for the title during the nearly weeklong competition. Soldiers preformed a series of mentally and physically challenging exercises to include a ruck march, weapons qualification, the Army Combat Fitness Test, and land navigation.

Witherspoon, a member of the Tennessee National Guard for less than two years, was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his superior performance during the competition.

“I put in a lot of time and effort into preparing myself for this week,” said Witherspoon. “To see that the effort has been rewarded feels great.”

Witherspoon will represent the 278th as he advances to the State competition, pitting the best from all of Tennessee’s major commands against one another.

“This process has been very rewarding,” said Witherspoon. “I am definitely looking forward to the next step, and hopefully performing well at the state competition, and beyond.”