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By Officer Candidate Alexandra Curtis
SPC Johns was born and raised in Westerly, RI. He is a 2015 graduate of of Westerly High School where he was a year-round athlete. During high school he was involved with soccer, swimming, and lacrosse which he felt made him well prepared for joining the Guard during his senior year of high school. He initially enlisted to support his education at University of Rhode Island, but has enjoyed the opportunities the Guard has afforded him beyond college. He says his time in A Company has been both exciting and rewarding. “I have done stuff I would never do and had never done before in my civilian life,” Johns said. “Shooting 3-4 times a year, riding in blackhawks, and land navagation,” he says are all highlights of his time at A Company.
Johns was recently named Soldier of the Year for the Rhode Island National Guard. The competition included several components and phases including a board, a written test, and a road march. Johns prepared by working with his sponsor, SGT Shearer, and physically preparing by focusing his training on Army tasks.
Johns currently works full time for Troop Command in unit support and supply and will be assisting them with operations through Leapfest. He is now preparing for the 5 day regional Best Warrior Competition from 29 April - 3 May in Stratford, New Hampshire. The winner from the regional competition will then represent the Northeast in the national Best Warrior Competition.
“During December IDT, Attack Company senior NCOs conducted a company level ‘Soldier and NCO of the Year’ competition during which SPC Johns crushed the competition. He has since won at the Troop Command and state competitions and will be moving on to the regional competition at the end of the month,” CPT Timothy O’Leary said. “Johns exemplifies the best of the Infantry; drive, discipline, professionalism, dedication to continuous improvement and self-development.”