Local man to represent National Guard at national Army competition


ANNVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) – A local man will represent the Army National Guard at the All Army Best Warrior competition.

Staff Sergeant Erich Friedlein beat out others across the country to make it. Friedlein, an instructor at Fort Indiantown Gap, leaves Friday for the competition. He says he’s just excited for things to get started.

“You’re going to be tested on how well you can shoot, so there will be different weapon systems that we’ll be expected to zero and qualify with or shoot well with,” Friedlein said. There’s definitely going to be a night and day land navigation course, so plotting points on a map and then going out there with no GPS.”

Walking 12 to 16 miles with all your gear and an obstacle course are possibilities for the competition Oct. 6-11.

“The thing that makes him special is the same way he’s preparing for this competition is the same way he prepares to teach a class. He has one gear and it’s full speed,” said Sergeant First Class Joshua Thompson, who works with Friedlein.

Hailing from Fredericksburg, Friedlein will join 21 of the Army’s best warriors, representing 11 commands across the Army. He’ll represent the National Guard. He did a lot to get to this point, competing and winning at the local level, state, regional and national.

“I don’t want to underestimate anybody out there. I have no idea the level of soldier I’ll be going up against. I just know the training I’ve been getting, I feel confident,” said Friedlein.

The competition is in its 18th year and will happen at Fort Lee, Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia, and the Pentagon. Friedlein will compete in the non-commissioned officer category.

Friedlein says he’ll find out if he won on Oct. 16.

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