Soldiers earn bragging rights during Apache Olympics
September 10, 2009
FORT HOOD, Texas - The Soldiers relished the opportunity to compete against and among their fellow artillery brethren and enjoy time with Family members during the third annual 'Apache Olympics' Aug. 27 at the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area.
Soldiers assigned to the 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division "Black Dragons," tested their physical fitness levels and built spirit de corps throughout the competition.
"The event was an overwhelming success and undoubtedly boosted the morale of the battery," said Capt. Keith Williams, the commander of Battery A, 5th Bn. 82nd FA. "No doubt all who competed and witnessed the event enjoyed the day away from post and benefited from some terrific competition by outstanding Black Dragon Soldiers."
The Olympics consisted of approximately two miles of various obstacles, designed to challenge the Field Artillery Soldier's physical and mental tenacity.
The event kicked off with Battery A Soldiers, also known as Apache, and Family members working diligently to set up the course and prepare for the barbecue that would follow.
Six teams, composed of five Soldiers each, maneuvered through a series of challenges, which included a Humvee push, map reading and casualty evacuation procedures. They also completed a group of strenuous physical exercises at each stop, designed to increase the amount of duress under which each Soldier performed.
The culminating event, dubbed "the smoke session," required team members to contribute every last ounce of energy as the battery first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Lawrence Maynard, lead the Soldiers through a series of high intensity exercises.
Though words like "smoke-fest" have been used to describe the event, all who competed in the Apache Olympics expressed overwhelming pride and satisfaction with their personal and team performance.
"Even though winning is sweet, no feeling beats seeing your troops motivate each other to push through the pain and finish together as a team," said Staff Sgt. Aaron Hodson, of Battery A, 5th Bn., 82nd FA, from San Diego, Calif.
Following the competition, Soldiers shared their most difficult experiences during the event, while eating grilled hot dogs, hamburgers and drinking cold Gatorade with Family members.
The winning team consisted of: Staff Sgt. Aaron Hodgson, Sgt. Michael Quintero from Wallace, Texas, Spc. Juan Cabada of Sinoloa, Mexico, Sgt. Adam Cunningham of Maysville, Ky., and Pfc. Trey Landry of New Iberia, La.