Fenske named Iowa Army National Guard SOY


Cresco - Spc. Nicholas A. Fenske, of Cresco, Iowa representing Troop C, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, of Le Mars, Iowa, was named Iowa Army National Guard’s Soldier of the Year in the Best Warrior Competition, held March 17-19, at the Camp Dodge Joint Maneuver Training Center, in Johnston, Iowa. The three-day competition consisted of 15 events which tested soldiers both physically and mentally. 
Fenske was one of 21 soldiers competing in this annual event, where competitors were split into two categories based on rank – junior enlisted and Noncommissioned Officers (NCOs). In order to qualify for the state-level competition, soldiers first had to compete at the battalion level. 
Of the approximately 7,000 soldiers in the Iowa Army National Guard, less than 30 qualify for the Iowa Best Warrior Competition.
The weekend started with the Army Physical Fitness Test, which scores competitors on push-ups, sit-ups and a two-mile run, followed by several weapons qualification courses, a written essay and exam, land navigation and a 12-mile march carrying 35 pounds of gear. Fenske did it in two hours, 25 minutes.
Another event was to set up coordinates for a mock tank destroy. He was so accurate, the artillery round went down the hatch—a perfect shot.
At the completion of the competition, total scores were tallied and the winners were recognized at an award ceremony.
Fenske and NCO of the Year-winner Sgt. Dustin L. Goecke, representing Company D, 224th Brigade Engineer Battalion, advance to the Regional Best Warrior Competition, scheduled May 8-11, at the Camp Dodge Joint Maneuver Training Center.   
Fenske is the son of Dale and Candy Fenske of Cresco. During the competition, Dale said Nick would call home and ask for prayers to get him through. 
His mom, Candy, remarked after the competition, “He said, ‘God was the only one who gave me strength to do this.’” She added the family is very proud of him.
Nick, a graduate of Crestwood High School Class in 2004, started a career at Fareway and then joined the Army a few years later. He graduated from Ft. Benning in December 2012 and was named soldier of the Cycle.
An interesting sidenote of the story is that Nick belongs to the same Infantry Division, the 34th, as his grandfather, Bill, did when he was in WWII. Dale has done research on the Red Bull Infantry Division, which holds the record for having the most consecutive days of fighting, a little over 1,000, during the war.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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