Basic trainees compete in combat olympics
April 24, 2009
FORT SILL, Okla. -- It was a day of camaraderie and competition for thousands of Soldiers in 434th Field Artillery Brigade.
The brigade held its second Combat Olympics April 10, challenging 144 basic training and Warrior Transition Course Soldiers to compete in a tug of war competition, a relay run, a combatives event, a Treadwell Tower competition, a pugils event and a 2.2-mile ranger run. The entire brigade attended the event to cheer on the competitors.
The purpose of the event was to recognize Soldiers who met and exceeded Basic Combat Training Army Physical Fitness Standards in a safe, friendly, supervised environment through individual and team competition, said Capt. Jessica Doyle, the brigade assistant operations officer.
The relay run gave each battalion team the opportunity to prove its physical fitness by pulling a humvee, carrying eight five-gallon water jugs, and an M-240 squad automatic weapon, to specified points in the least amount of time. The event was performed by a four-man team with a drill sergeant squad leader. Each battalion had two teams competing.
The combatives tournament paired two individuals per a weight category, lightweight to super heavyweight, from each battalion to determine which battalion had best mastered its combatives skills.
Treadwell Tower tested two four-man teams from each battalion on their rappelling knowledge and their ability to negotiate the three rope bridge obstacles.
The pugils event also consisted of two individuals per weight category from each battalion demonstrating their mastery of rifle and bayonet tactics. It tested Soldiers' strength as well as agility and balance.
The 2.2-mile ranger run was the most strenuous of all the events, Doyle said. Each battalion had two four-man teams competing to include a drill sergeant squad leader. The Soldiers completed a 2.2-mile run in full combat gear while completing tasks along the way. These tasks included obstacles within the Combat Confidence Course, a first aid event and hand grenade toss.
Doyle said the event gave Soldiers a sense of pride in themselves, created healthy competition between the battalions and provided a much needed break from training.
Soldiers who obtained a first, second or third place were awarded a medal and recognized before the entire brigade. In addition, an overall trophy was awarded to 1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery for earning the highest overall score.
"Anyone attending the event can easily see how much the Soldiers enjoy the competition, and you can tell they are truly proud of their battalion," Doyle said. "Their cheering makes it almost impossible to hear instructions from event cadre!"
She said although the Combat Olympics is a fairly new event, the brigade is working hard to make it beneficial not only to the Soldiers' morale, but also to the training they're currently receiving or have already completed.
"I think it's great we include drill sergeants in the team events; drill sergeants work hard to mold the Soldiers into individuals they would want to go to combat with. This is a great measurement of their skill and a great example of how effective their leadership and mentorship has been. It gives everyone involved pride in their Soldiers, drill sergeants and cadre because it truly is a measurement of our capability as trainers, leaders and mentors."