Standing in the front row, Soldiers from the top two placing teams are recognized for their achievements during the 2012 Mountain Spring Challenge on Thursday in Fort Drum's Magrath Physical Fitness Center. Recognizing them for their achievements are Maj. Gen. Mark A Milley, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Rick Merritt, division senior enlisted adviser. Not pictured is the third place team, who returned to Fort Polk, La.

FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division (LI) participated in a Mountain Spring Challenge held May 1-4 on Fort Drum. The competition was designed to promote tactical excellence, esprit de corps and a competitive spirit in units across the division.

A total of 22 Soldier teams composed of a noncommissioned officer and a commissioned officer began a six-mile road march after completing the Ranger Athlete Warrior test, which is not practiced by many Soldiers. This test consists of seven sub-events testing Soldiers' agility and overall physical strength.

"I think we will have an above-average performance. We downloaded some of the events in the RAW test and practiced them," said Staff Sgt. Sean M. Molitor, a military police platoon sergeant with 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team.

With the fitness test complete, Soldiers faced an additional six testing lanes housed in four stations spaced out along the six-mile route, with a surprise event hidden along the way: a five-gallon water-can carry.

"The water-can carry was the worst event; I just kept thinking when would this end," said 1st Lt. Brian S. Laskey, platoon leader for A Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, stationed at Fort Polk, La.

The course did end shortly after that event, and each team that entered the competition crossed the finish line successfully.

"The Mountain Spring Challenge was very successful," said Capt. Austin F. Jones, knowledge management officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd BCT. "We hope to host a Mountain Summer Challenge in the next few months."

At the end of the four-day event, every team that crossed the finish line may have experienced their own success in doing so. However, crossing the finish line would not win their team the Mountain Spring Challenge Commander's Cup. On the other hand, having the fastest overall time would.

The top three placing teams were recognized in a ceremony held Thursday at Fort Drum's Magrath Physical Fitness Center.

Winning teams are as follows:
First place: 1st Lt. Brandon Bieron and Sgt. 1st Class Joey Bowman, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team.

Second place: 1st Lt. Matthew Laney and Staff Sgt. Robert Olsen, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division.

Third place: 1st Lt. Brian Laskey and Staff Sgt. James Lawson, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team.

Page last updated Thu May 17th, 2012 at 16:06