"Spartan" Soldiers flex their muscles
April 27, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas-Pushing humvees, flipping huge tires and working their way through a challenging triathlon were all in a day's work for the Soldiers of the 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, during strongman and triathlon competitions here, April 21.
Comprised of military specialties as diverse as computer technicians to imagery analysts to dental technicians, the troopers of the 2nd STB all have something in common: as Soldiers they may be required to perform different kinds of strenuous physical activities as part of their normal daily operations.
This particular competition pitted Soldiers from the companies that make up the battalion against one another in a fierce, muscle vs. muscle challenge.
The first event was a three-mile rucksack march, followed by a multi-event course for five-man teams to navigate through one challenge at a time.
During the event, Soldiers pushed a humvee, carried full water jugs, performed hundreds of pushups and sit-ups and flipped enormous tires, and that was only part of the day's activities.
"The idea behind this is that we wanted to get everyone in the battalion together," said 2nd Lt. Steven Karr, an Abilene, Texas native and a platoon leader for 2nd STB. "This is a time for everyone to get together for a team building event."
Karr said this event wasn't just about challenging a Soldier's muscular strength, but also demonstrated functional strength in tasks the Soldiers may have to perform.
If a humvee breaks down, someone has to push it, and Soldiers will always be carrying water jugs, joked Karr.
This was a good event; it challenged the Soldiers beyond normal physical fitness training, explained Spc. Bryan Mender, a combat engineer from Tallahassee, Tenn.
Mender found the event to be a very positive way to see strengths in his teammates.
"You surprise each other with the effort you put forth in each event," said Mender. "Something you might be lacking, other people pick up the slack. It builds cohesion."
Following the strongman competition, a different group of Soldiers competed in a triathlon consisting of a 200-meter swim, a 25-minute bike ride and a two-mile run.
This was yet another chance for the Soldiers to show their mettle, according to 1st Lt. Cary Cohan, from Cleveland, Ohio.
"It also builds communication skills, cohesion and fitness," said Cohan.
And while the day wasn't a typical one, it allowed the diverse Soldiers of the 2nd STB to see another thing they all have in common: sweat.