HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Smith County native, Allen Smith, 25, is currently in the United States Army Reserve.
But, when he first wanted to join back in 2010, a recruiter told him no because he was out of shape.
"When I graduated high school, I was around 300lbs, got up to about 315lbs. I knew I wanted join the Army. I just wasn't really putting myself out there and making it happen. And when I went to the recruiter and they told me no I was way too heavy, it kind of gave me a weight to get to, and I just got there,” said Smith.
Today, Smith weighs 215lbs and competes in the Army Reserves' Best Warrior competition. He made it all the way to the theater level when he was just one out of six non-commissioned officers left in the competition, but ended up losing where he was just one step away from becoming the top warrior in the country.
"It didn't really down me to not win because I knew I had made it far. But, I know I can push myself even harder to make it further next year," said Smith.
Smith said joining the Army has changed his life, and describes himself as being resilient.
"Number one, I hate losing and no matter what's going on, I just want to be better the next time I get a chance," said Smith.
Smith is currently attending JCJC and is studying to become a paramedic.
Smith will graduate in a few months and plans to move to Gulfport with his fiance.