NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University student Evan Chapman of Mesquite, Texas, was awarded the 2021 Louisiana Army National Guard’s Best Warrior Award (soldier division) that included 12 graded events and 33 hours of competition. SPC Chapman is pursuing a degree in electronics engineering technology and plays saxophone in the NSU Jazz Orchestra, the Spirit of Northwestern Demon Marching and concert bands.
“To my knowledge, I am the only Army Bandsman in history to win and advance from the State Best Warrior Competition,” Chapman said. “I am preparing as best I can and am very much looking forward to winning the Regional Best Warrior Competition. If I win, I will advance to the National level and have the chance to meet the president.”
In the competition, Chapman won the Essay, Day Land Nav, Confidence Course and the Twelve Mile Ruck March. He will compete in the Region 5 competition in May.
“I am thankful and honored to have won the competition,” said Chapman, who is back in school following his normal schedule, but will be expected to go on orders again in the near future to prepare for the regional competition, which includes five states. The competition will take place the week after Chapman completes final exams.
“I am doing my best to have all work and assignments completed. I will get it done,” Chapman said.
“His dedication to duty sets him apart from his peers,” said First Sergeant Ted Beagley, U.S. Army Band. “He is a great credit upon himself, the Army National Guard and the United States Army.”
“He went through rigorous physical and academic challenges in order to come out on top in this military competition,” added Col. Jeff Mathews, director of bands and associate professor of music in the School of Creative and Performing Arts.