Legacy of Gimlet athletic excellence
October 8, 2013
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- The Gimlet Battalion, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team claimed the Guadalcanal Cup during the 2013 Tropic Lightning Week, Oct 3 on Weyand Field.
Tropic Lightning Week was a week of friendly athletic competitions amongst the 25th Infantry Division's 17 battalions to commemorate the division's 72nd birthday. Soldiers from across the division participated in sporting events, team-building contests honoring Hawaiian culture, and combat-focused competition. As Gimlet athletes and competitors have been doing for close to a century here at Schofield Barracks, members of 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment took to the field and distinguished themselves from the other competitors en route to claiming the Guadalcanal Cup.
2nd Lt. Miranda Doss, winner in the women's division of the Kole Kole Climb event, attributes the battalion's success to the competitors' preparation for events and their desire to capture the cup.
"The week was taken head on with practice before and after the regular work week with the drive for nothing less than first place. LTC Tuite himself even came and talked to the battalion as a whole to instill in us what the word team really means. When you have leadership that wants the battalion to come together it gives you that inner drive to want to do the same. It's easier to believe in yourself when you have leadership who also believes in you," Doss said.
Through the decades, the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment established a reputation for success in sporting events. The culmination of Tropic Lighting Week marks the second time in as many months that the Gimlets brought home a 1st place trophy for organizational athletic competition. In July, the Gimlets were awarded the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team's Commanders Cup during the Week of the Warrior, an athletic celebration honoring the Brigade's birthday. The legacy of Gimlet athletic prowess, established upon these very same Schofield fields in the 1920s, continues.
In 1921, Private Eugene Riley of E Company, 21st Infantry Regiment organized a group of 20 Soldiers in order to support the regimental athletic teams. This group called themselves the Gimlet Club of Royal Rooters. In the 1920s, the Gimlet Club dominated every team it met during any athletic match and the nickname "Gimlets" spread.
1st Lt. Scott Paul, the Gimlets Tropic Lightning Week event coordinator, said "From knowing the history and tradition of the Royal Gimlet Clan members who came before us, I think we all have a great amount of pride in the unit and how they earned their reputation. We all want to live up to our history and prove ourselves on the playing field and the battle field. This instills within many of us a drive to achieve greatness."
A gimlet is a tool with a grooved twisted shank and screw point, appearing somewhat like an auger, used to bore holes in rock for dynamite. These holes were then filled with explosives to blast the rock apart; thus, cutting away sides of entire mountains to make room for railroad tracks or roadways.
Much like the gimlet stick, 21st Infantry Regiment teams were tougher than rock and bored holes through their opponents on the athletic fields. They set regimental standards and traditions of maintaining superiority on the athletic field. They adopted the Gimlet as their logo because of their tenacity and dominance on the field of play. The motto "Bore Brother Bore" exemplifies the Gimlets fighting spirit and will to win.
The Gimlet fighting spirit is not lost on Doss, long-time athlete, whose athleticism has continued to improve since becoming a Gimlet.
Doss said, "I have pushed myself and literally climbed walls that I couldn't do a year ago. Whenever I want to quit I just keep looking forward because there is usually someone ahead of me who is a Gimlet. I have to keep up with them not only for myself, but to show others what this BN is made of."