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Attention! He's among the best

Spc. Tarrant Collett (center) poses with his 2018 Soldier of the Year honor with the Minnesota National Guard. Photo courtesy of Minnesota National Guard1 / 2
Spc. Tarrant Collett does push-ups in the physical training portion of the Minnesota National Guard's Best Warrior 2018 competition. Sgt. Sebastion Nemec / Minnesota National Guard 2 / 2

In the frigid wintery weather of April, eight soldiers and six noncommissioned officers competed for the title of Minnesota National Guard Best Warrior 2018.

Spc. Tarrant Collett lives in Woodbury and is part of the 434th Chemical Company in Red Wing. He was nominated to compete in the event in the typical Army fashion of being "voluntold."

Despite not having much choice in his participation, Collett worked hard at each event and was awarded Soldier of the Year for his performance.

Just having the chance to compete is an honor: the 14 are among some 14,000 soldiers in the Minnesota National Guard.

The competition was a four-day affair at Minnesota Military base Camp Ripley in Little Falls.

Competitors were presented with physical and mental challenges to test their skills, everything needing to meet Army standards. These tasks included a written test, essay, physical training and assessment of general knowledge of weapon work and land navigation.

A new level of difficulty was added to the tasks as the weather was below freezing, taking place the week before a large snowstorm.

"Up there we would start the day off at like 3 degrees," Collett said. "The weather screwed with everything."

Collett went on to represent Minnesota in the Regional Best Warrior Competition at Wisconsin's Fort McCoy in May. While he didn't win a title at the competition, it helped him recognize a personal goal.

"I need to get better at running," Collett said. "I'm not that great at it."

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