KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WATE) —A Knoxville native is representing Tennessee in the 2022 National All Guard Best Warrior Competition.

Spc. Grayson Vaughn, a military policeman with the Tennessee Army National Guard’s 252nd Military Police Company, will compete for the title of Best Warrior or NCO of the Year while representing Tennessee as one of the 14 best National Guard Soldiers and Noncommissioned Officers from seven regions. The competition will run from July 24-29.

“These competitions are not only great experiences, but they are also filled with incredible training that you don’t always get to do,” said Vaughn.

Earlier this year, Vaughn was named Tennessee’s Best Warrior after he competed against Soldiers, Airmen, and representatives from the Bulgarian Armed Forces. He then advanced to the regional competition, where he won the top spot after competing against his peers from across the region.

“I do physical strength training three times a week with a group of friends doing boot-camp style workouts in the early morning,” said Vaughn. “Then the other two days of the week I run or hike with weights to get my body’s stamina ready for long distances.”

Vaughn said this training schedule has helped him in each competition. “On weekends I will devote time to studying or going to a local range to work on my marksmanship,” said Vaughn. “In total, I spend around four to six hours per week on my physical strength and endurance, and three to four hours per week on mental work and marksmanship.”

According to the Tennessee Military Department, this year’s national competition will be even more grueling than in previous years. The six-day competition will incorporate over 30 obstacles to test the competitors’ mental and physical fitness. Overall, the soldiers will be tested on their mental fortitude, individual skill, and ability to work as a member of a team.

“The experience I have had during these competitions has been next level,” said Vaughn. “I have done things, shot weapons, and been in places that I may never get the chance to be a part of again during my time in the Army.”

The winner of this competition will compete against representatives from the Army and the Army Reserves during the Army Best Warrior Competition later this year.