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Meet 7th ID’s Best Warrior Competition winner and I Corps Soldier of the Year

Spc. Brendan Ridge credits his father for inspiration

Spc. Brendan Ridge competed in and won the 7th Infantry Division Best Warrior Competition. Photo credit: Courtesy image

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After graduating from college, Brendan Ridge did something that most graduates don't do - he enlisted in the Army.

"I enlisted because of a long-lasting urge to serve," said the native of Hanover, Massachusetts, "because I always admired what soldiers do."

Spc. Ridge enlisted in October, 2020 and currently serves with Headquarters Company, 520th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, a component of 7th Infantry Division.

As a child growing up, he enjoyed playing baseball, basketball, football, but mostly hockey.

"It's where I met all of my childhood friends, and it was the reason for many of the family road trips across the country and into Canada," related Ridge.

"I was really just an annoying young child; however, as I grew older, I became quite the opposite - I grew to be reserved and quiet."

While in high school, Ridge switched to playing golf, making new friends, doing new things and going to new places.

"It also changed my vision of my future," he explained, "because I now wanted to play pro golf, not pro hockey."

Ridge also credits his mother and father for helping to make him the soldier he is today.

"My mother did everything at home to help me excel at whatever I did in sports or school," continued Ridge. "But my dad is my greatest inspiration in many aspects of my life. His work ethic and self-sacrifice throughout his career as a Boston police officer and as a father are the attributes I strive to emulate."

He added that his dad worked as hard as he did to give him and his sisters the best opportunities for their futures.

"He sacrificed his time, his health, and some of his happiness, to make sure that we had better lives," continued Ridge. "It is my dream to be able to pay him back for his selflessness and return the favor when I go further into my life and start to make more money."

Recognizing and acting on his dad's selflessness is one of the characteristics that contributed to Ridge becoming a member of the Order of the Bayonet.

"While I feel that my name sitting on a list among those men's names may be out of place, I again am honored and motivated to bring credit upon those men and the Order of the Bayonet by continuing to challenge myself and be the best soldier I can be," said Ridge.

Not only is he the 7th ID's Best Warrior Competition winner, he was recognized as I Corps Soldier of the Year for 2022.

"The board was the most challenging event because it was my first," commented Ridge.

"With only a year in the Army, most of which I've spent simply learning how to do my job, I was now tested on many different Army rules and regulations."

In the near future, Ridge plans on honing his infantry skills, going to sniper school, and then Ranger School.

"I am certainly not always the best, but not being there drives me to keep working," he concluded.

"I really understand that no matter what I do that I think is good, there is always somebody better to knock you off whatever pedestal you've put yourself on. There is no wisdom in arrogance."

That's a payment any father would be proud of.

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