SAVANNAH, Ga. – In the widely popular Broadway smash hit, “Hamilton: An American Musical,” the repeated motto for Alexander Hamilton is, “I’m not throwing away my shot.”
Now, more than 200 years later, a different American solider is living up to that call as he trains to be the army’s best.
Georgia National Guard Specialist Joseph Broam, 25, is making the most of the final days of preparation before the annual “U.S. Army Best Warrior Competition” held in Virginia.
Spc. Broam is one of ten soldiers who qualified for the high-stakes event. From September 26 – October 4 they will compete in over 30 warrior tasks and 15 major events.
“Honestly just going into the competition you know there’s going to be a ruck march. You’re gonna have your physical fitness test. You’re gonna know how to show your rifle. You need to study up. You know you’re gonna have a board. You’re gonna have an essay and you know you’re gonna have the general knowledge test. And then honestly everything else is up in the air,” Spc. Broam said.
The “Best Warrior” candidate has been preparing since the beginning of the year by competing in various competitions along the way. After joining the National Guard in 2014, he currently holds the titles of best National Guardsman in the state of Georgia, region, and in the nation. Should he win the “Best Warrior Competition,” he would be he first National Guardsman in the country to hold the title.
“For me it’s a great honor,” Spc. Broam said. “But it brings more focus to the solider allowing any solider in our ranks to say, ‘Hey, I could achieve this in a matter of training in a matter of focusing on the solider,”‘ he said.
In addition to training for the “Best Warrior” competition, Spc. Broam is currently a junior at Armstrong State University, member of the school’s ROTC program, and working in the security office of a local Target. He says he gets his inspiration and motivation from his own family. His father is in the Army and his brother is the National Guard in Alabama.
“I’m following my father in his footsteps, but he’s been a role model and mentor through all of this,” he said.
Sergeant Mark Kassum is currently training Spc. Broam in the weapons aspect of the competition. Together they practice and repeating assembling and disassembling different weapons for hours upon end.
“He’s definitely above average. He’s part of the best of the best,” Sgt. Kassum said. “He’s going to represent the Georgia National Guard very well.”
Even with the high expectations mounting, Spc. Broam is focusing on the greater opportunity to his protect his country.
“As citizen soldiers that’s why we are in the National Guard. We want to serve our country as well as be stay-at-home moms, be hard workers, and go to school and pursue other career paths as well,” he said.
Spc. Broam is sure of his career path pf public service. He humbly insists himself and his family blessed by the Army and God for getting him to this launch point in his young career.
“This is how I want to spend the next thirty years of my life. Whether it’s getting soldiers the opportunity to do this or mentoring people to go out and do a wide variety of things,” he said,
Like his Founding Father and fellow solider before him, Spc. Broam is certainly not throwing away his shot.