LAKE STEVENS — Sgt. Grant Reimers has risen in the ranks of the country’s most elite soldiers. Reimers, of Lake Stevens, won second place in the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition.
The honors were announced at a Monday ceremony in Washington, D.C.
The competition, held Oct. 1-6 at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, aimed to push soldiers to their limits with a marathon of mental and physical trials.
In one of the most challenging parts, Reimers recalled running through a forested area with a 50-pound rucksack, covering 35 miles over three days.
“It was physically exhausting, and that kind of weighs on you mentally, too,” he said.
In all, Reimers spent the better part of a year training and competing in the various stages of the Best Warrior competition.
In July, he was named the 2017 Army National Guard Best Warrior, qualifying him for this final stage of Best Warrior competition. The National Guard win came after he won an eight-state regional Warrior competition, among other local wins. The latest training schedule required him to take a semester off from his studies at the University of Nevada in Reno.
“It is a great feeling to be done. It’s been a long year. I’m glad I made it this far, but it’s been a very exhausting process and I’m glad it’s finally coming to an end,” Reimers said.
Reimers competed against 10 others in the effort to be named the Army’s Soldier of the Year. Eleven other competitors vied for the title of top noncommissioned officer.
He was handed a trophy and photographed with dignitaries, including Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey, who hosted the awards.
Reimers’ parents, Martin and Kay Reimers, of Marysville, were among the families and friends of soldiers on hand for the celebration.
“We’ve always said that the Army is the strength of our nation … but it’s our families that are the strength of our soldiers,” said retired Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston in opening remarks.
Those words meant a lot to the couple, who also soaked in the sights of Washington, D.C., during their stay. They looked out at the White House as they spoke by phone about their son’s accomplishment, which they were thrilled to be able to witness.
“We are beside ourselves proud,” Kay Reimers said.
A 2013 graduate of Lake Stevens High School, Reimers works as a heavy vehicle driver with the Nevada National Guard’s 1859th Light-Medium Transport Company. He studies business and accounting at the University of Nevada in Reno, the city where his parents grew up and where he was born.
The Best Warrior competition “is opening some doors for him in the Army, which is great to see,” Martin Reimers said.
The competition included specialized training that Reimers can take back to his unit. Later this year he will join the U.S. Army Air Assault School. Next year, he’ll enter Ranger School.
“He has other exciting challenges ahead of him,” Kay Reimers said.
For now, it’s time to recharge. “It’s been an all life- encompassing thing for him. He’s got to get his feet back on the ground,” Martin Reimers said.
For Reimers, 22, that means trekking into the Jarbidge Wilderness in northeastern Nevada for an elk hunt.
“He’ll relax by hiking around with a big pack on,” quipped Kay Reimers.
Melissa Slager: email@example.com;, 425-339-3432.