University of Arkansas – Fort Smith student Ben Mitchell of Greenwood won the title of Best Warrior from the Arkansas National Guard during a competition held at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock.

The competition pitted finalists from brigades across Arkansas against each other in two separate categories: junior enlisted soldiers and non-commissioned officers. Mitchell placed first in the junior enlisted category following the grueling competition designed to test the mental and physical abilities of the competitors.

The competition included a physical fitness test, a weapons proficiency test, a half-marathon march while wearing a 35-pound pack, and a written test, among other challenges.

According to a video posted by the Arkansas National Guard, "the winner of the title ‘Best Warrior’ represents the finest of the Arkansas National Guard in professionalism and soldier skills."

On Feb. 18, Congressman Steve Womack recognized Mitchell during a visit to UAFS campus, giving him a commemorative coin and taking pictures with Mitchell and his family.

Mitchell is a sophomore studying criminal justice and plans to enter law enforcement following graduation.