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Oklahoma State University

OSU senior named Oklahoma Soldier of the Year

Friday, November 9, 2018

Spc. Brandon Widman of Delta Company, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, bounds over wooden beams on an obstacle course during the Best Warrior Competition held March 3, 2018, at Camp Gruber Training Center near Braggs, Oklahoma.This 3-day event challenges Soldier’s mental and physical abilities while competing against fellow Guardsmen for the honor of being the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s Best Warrior. .(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Bradley Cooney)

Oklahoma State University finance senior Brandon Widman was named the Oklahoma Soldier of the Year and offered a spot in the 2023 class at West Point after the Best Warrior Competitions took him to Liverpool, England. 

The Best Warrior competition is made up of some of the best soldiers in the Army, based on leadership, physical fitness and knowledge of weapon systems and rank structures. The multiday competition assesses each competitor’s skills in categories including physical fitness, land navigation and other warrior tasks such as assessing a casualty or throwing a grenade.

Widman started competing in Best Warrior competitions at his company’s level in Stillwater. After winning there, he continued on to state, then regionals and was eventually selected to compete internationally against other NATO troops. Widman recently represented the United States and Oklahoma in England.

“I was super excited when they told me I would get to go to England,” said Widman.

After over a week in Liverpool, the United States’ team made up of four Oklahomans came home with gold.

“It was awesome; I’d love to do it again,” Widman said.

Widman, originally from Edmond, Oklahoma, found his passion for the military through his father and grandfather and their service in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy, respectfully. He began his own military career in OSU’s ROTC as a freshman and was quickly recruited by the Oklahoma National Guard after his first semester.

Story by Claire Mckenzie

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