100th MDB gets 'swing' shift, spends day at ropes course
July 22, 2010
FORT CARSON, Colo. - As the sun shone down through the cloudless Colorado sky, Soldiers of the 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-Based Midcourse Defense) worked on building teamwork, cohesion and friendships as they made their way through a ropes course July 15.
This event was planned by Headquarters and Headquarters Battery of the 100th MDB in partnership with the Army's Morale, Welfare and Recreation and was presented at no cost to the Soldiers due to their deployment status.
"The purpose of the Ropes Program at the Fort Carson MWR is for post-deployment units," said Capt. George Lambos, HHB Company commander. "Since we are conducting our National Strategic Mission on a daily basis we are considered deployed in place."
The Soldiers had to work through a team building course that featured three phases. In the first phase, all twelve Soldiers had to get across five platforms with different challenges while carrying or pushing a rescue litter with a fellow Soldier inside it.
"Being in the litter required quite a bit of trust," said 1st Lt. Lynsey Yoder, Human Resource Assistant, 100th MDB. "It gave me an opportunity to sit back and see the leadership styles of all those who were involved; a very interesting and valuable experience to say the least."
The second phase of the course led participants to being harnessed, hooked up to a cable and pulled to almost vertical. Then by a release of a rope, the Soldiers would drop and then swing back and forth till they were stopped at the bottom by MWR staff.
Some relished the free fall feeling and the rush that came with being held up by just a single cable. Others just felt terror.
"Yes, that was sheer terror. I really thought I was going to die," said Pfc. Cristina Cost, local area network manager for MDB.
The last part of the course was the Alpine Tower. The tower had four challenging ways to get to the platform on top. Each had a different level of difficulty and offered it own sets of obstacles. Every Soldier tried to scale at least one angle of approach. Some Soldiers took it upon themselves to climb all the angles to the top.
"My first time up the tower I was very nervous," said Lambos, who made it to the top four times from four different sides. "After each time my confidence increased, so I wanted to try more difficult portions of the tower each time. Ego played a role; the coaches / mentors from MWR said other people had climbed the different parts of the tower, so if someone else could it, I could do it, or at least try."
And for the ones that didn't make it to the top, but still tried to get as high as they could, the tower was a positive experience.
"My favorite part of the ropes course was the tower and watching everyone conquer their fears," said Yoder. "I liked the different opportunities we had to challenge ourselves both collectively as a group and individuals."
With all the obstacles passed and the fears overcome, having an experience like this with fellow Soldiers and colleagues proved to be a success, not to mention a great time away from the office.
"The Soldiers interacted in a different environment. They were able to try things outside their comfort zone in a safe environment. They were also able to physically and mentally challenge themselves, build some self confidence, increased awareness of their capabilities and hopefully built some Esprit-de-corps," Capt. Lambos.