• CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Sgt. Luis Garcia (background), from Bryant, Texas, a squad leader in Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, prepares himself before replacing his teammate on the pull-up portion of a modified physical fitness test March 23. Soldiers in the company competed in a team-based challenge to show their physical readiness, technical knowledge and their ability to work together.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Sgt. Luis Garcia...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Sgt. Luis Garcia (background), from Bryant, Texas, a squad leader in Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, prepares himself before replacing his...

  • CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Happy to complete a grueling day-long challenge, Staff Sgt, Jesus Diaz, a squad leader from Los Angeles in Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, touches the finish line March 23. Diaz and other Soldiers from Co. F endured multiple events, including a modified physical fitness test, obstacle course, medical applications, stress shoot, vehicle push and a 12-mile road march that linked all the events together.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Happy to complete a grueling...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Happy to complete a grueling day-long challenge, Staff Sgt, Jesus Diaz, a squad leader from Los Angeles in Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, touches...

  • CAMP TAJI, Iraq - After running with water containers to add stress and fatigue, Sgt. Isaac Haseley, from Bradenton, Fla., a squad leader in Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, earns points for his team by accurately shooting targets during a company challenge March 23. The challenge was designed to test their skills as infantrymen and enjoy a little friendly competition.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - After running with water...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - After running with water containers to add stress and fatigue, Sgt. Isaac Haseley, from Bradenton, Fla., a squad leader in Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S...

  • CAMP TAJI, Iraq - During a team-building challenge, 1st Lt. Alan Roy (right), a platoon leader from Strawberry, Minn., and Sgt. Luis Garcia, a squad leader from Bryant, Texas, both of whom are in Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, low-crawl through an obstacle course March 23. The two Soldiers' teams endured six other events after completing the obstacle course.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - During a team-building...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - During a team-building challenge, 1st Lt. Alan Roy (right), a platoon leader from Strawberry, Minn., and Sgt. Luis Garcia, a squad leader from Bryant, Texas, both of whom are in Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st...

  • CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Trying to get a quick time through the obstacle course, Soldiers from Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, form "steps" with their bodies to get over a wooden barrier March 23. The Soldiers were tested physically and mentally throughout the day.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Trying to get a quick time...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Trying to get a quick time through the obstacle course, Soldiers from Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, form "steps" with their bodies to get over a...

  • CAMP TAJI, Iraq - In a timed event, Spc. Sean Kuttner (right), a grenadier from Jacksonville, Fla., and Sgt. Eric Stoodley, a team leader from Wapmallopen, Pa., both in Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, put their medical knowledge to the test on a simulated casualty March 23 during a company challenge.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - In a timed event, Spc. Sean...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - In a timed event, Spc. Sean Kuttner (right), a grenadier from Jacksonville, Fla., and Sgt. Eric Stoodley, a team leader from Wapmallopen, Pa., both in Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st...

  • CAMP TAJI, Iraq - After marching seven miles and completing six of the eight events in a company challenge, Pfc. Dennis White, a grenadier from Bim, W. Va., in Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, takes an opportunity to air out a large blister before medical personnel tend to it March 23. White soon joined the rest of his team and won the company challenge.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - After marching seven miles...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - After marching seven miles and completing six of the eight events in a company challenge, Pfc. Dennis White, a grenadier from Bim, W. Va., in Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry...

  • CAMP TAJI, Iraq - As the sun rises, Soldiers from Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, make their way through an obstacle course March 23. The second of eight events, the Soldiers were required to work together in order to complete all of the challenges.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - As the sun rises, Soldiers...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - As the sun rises, Soldiers from Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, make their way through an obstacle course March 23. The second of eight events...

CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Soldiers ran through a gauntlet of challenges March 23 that were designed to test their physical fitness, technical knowledge and ability to work as a team.

Keeping a tight lid on the details, the leadership of Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, organized the entire event without letting the inner workings get out to the Soldiers in the company.

"This deployment, the guys didn't get to see a whole lot of action," said Capt. David Puzzo, from East Hampton, Conn., a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot and commander of Co. F. "That is a good thing, but at the same time they didn't get a chance to validate all of their training.

"I felt that this was a chance for them to close out the deployment strong and build up a little team camaraderie," added Puzzo.

Each team consisted of five Soldiers who started the event at 5 a.m., with a modified physical fitness test - a combined 300 pushups, 300 sit-ups, 50 pull-ups and a two-mile run. The rest of the challenge was made up of a 12-mile road march, medical procedures, a 100-meter truck push, pulling a teammate 400 meters on a litter, an obstacle course, a stress shoot and calling in an attack weapons team for support, ending with a barbeque in celebration of surviving the day.

"We definitely designed it to be hard and everybody reacts to stress in different ways. Obviously, it is going to push you and it is going to beat you down a little bit," said Puzzo. "I think there was a lot of team work out there and a lot of camaraderie. Some were able to push on and complete it, others were challenged a bit more and were unable to complete the event."

Not wanting to let his team down, Pfc. Dennis White, from Bim, W. Va., a grenadier in Co. F., continued on after he developed a large blister on the bottom of his foot.

"I got a pretty awesome blister on my foot, but we finished still," said White. "It was better after the doc fixed me up, but it still hurt on the four-mile march back.

"The stress shoot was probably my favorite part, I just like to shoot and that is what I am the best at," added White.

During the stress shoot, the Soldiers had to identify the components of four different weapons and assemble them and complete a proper functions check on each weapon. Teamwork was necessary, as the components from all four weapons were mixed together into one container.

"There was no yelling or screaming at anybody," said White. "Everybody just came together as a team and worked real hard and it worked out pretty good."

White's team pushed on through the entire day to become the overall winners for the event.

"Whoever crossed that finish line, I definitely think they were happy to have completed it," said Puzzo; "one, for themselves and, two, for their teammates they were able to support."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16