• Spc. Donald Hunter (left) and Pfc. Beau Howell work in tandem to attach hoses from the Tactical Water Purification System during testing for that event Aug. 22, 2012, at Training Area 19.  The two Soldiers are members of the 801st Battalion Support Brigade, one of two teams representing Fort Campbell, Ky. in the 2012 Water Purification Rodeo, held Aug. 17-24, 2012, at Fort Story, Va., and Fort Lee, Va.  The 801st finished ninth in the competition.

    Teamwork

    Spc. Donald Hunter (left) and Pfc. Beau Howell work in tandem to attach hoses from the Tactical Water Purification System during testing for that event Aug. 22, 2012, at Training Area 19. The two Soldiers are members of the 801st Battalion Support...

  • The champion 753rd Quartermaster Company team pose for pictures Aug. 24, 2012, during the 2012 Water Purification Rodeo awards at Fort Lee, Va.  Pictured with team members (from left) are  Maj. Gen. John R. "Jack" O'Connor, Forces Command deputy chief of staff, G4; Brig. Gen. Gwen Bingham, Quartermaster School commandant; Command Sgt. Maj. James Sims, QM School regimental CSM, and Sgt. Maj. Todd Shippy, Petroleum and Water Department CSM.  The 753rd beat out 16 other teams to win the competition.

    Water Dawg champs

    The champion 753rd Quartermaster Company team pose for pictures Aug. 24, 2012, during the 2012 Water Purification Rodeo awards at Fort Lee, Va. Pictured with team members (from left) are Maj. Gen. John R. "Jack" O'Connor, Forces Command deputy chief...

  • Teams operate the Tactical Water Purification Systems at Training Area 19 during that event of the 2012 Water Purification Rodeo, held Aug. 17-24, 2012, at Fort Story, Va., and Fort Lee, Va.  Seventeen teams competed in five events during the annual competition.

    Water treatment units

    Teams operate the Tactical Water Purification Systems at Training Area 19 during that event of the 2012 Water Purification Rodeo, held Aug. 17-24, 2012, at Fort Story, Va., and Fort Lee, Va. Seventeen teams competed in five events during the annual...

  • Staff Sgt. Michael Murray, a Petroleum and Water Department instructor and evaluator, reacts with some measure of doubt as team members discuss their strategy during the Tactical Water Purification System event of the 2012 Water Purification Rodeo at Fort Lee, Va., Aug. 22, 2012.

    Talking strategy

    Staff Sgt. Michael Murray, a Petroleum and Water Department instructor and evaluator, reacts with some measure of doubt as team members discuss their strategy during the Tactical Water Purification System event of the 2012 Water Purification Rodeo at...

  • Backwash from a Tactical Water Purification System flows into a concrete drain during the 2012 Water Purification Rodeo competition.

    Backwash

    Backwash from a Tactical Water Purification System flows into a concrete drain during the 2012 Water Purification Rodeo competition.

  • Pfc. Ukwumonu Idakwo, 801st Battalion Support Brigade, inspects hoses of the Tactical Water Purification System during that event of the 2012 Water Purification Rodeo, held Aug.17-24, 2012, at Fort Stor, Va., and Fort Lee, Va.  Seventeen teams competed in five events designed to test the operational readiness of water treatment specialists.

    Troubleshoot

    Pfc. Ukwumonu Idakwo, 801st Battalion Support Brigade, inspects hoses of the Tactical Water Purification System during that event of the 2012 Water Purification Rodeo, held Aug.17-24, 2012, at Fort Stor, Va., and Fort Lee, Va. Seventeen teams competed...

FORT LEE, Va. (Aug. 30, 2012) -- A U.S. Army Reserve team can officially call itself the top "Water Dawgs" in the Department of Defense.

The 753rd Quartermaster Company, based in Green Bay, Wis., beat 16 other active duty and reserve-component teams from around the country to claim the top prize in the 2012 Sgt. Maj. John C. Marigliano Award of Excellence Water Purification Rodeo that took place at Joint Expeditionary Base East (Fort Story, Va.) and Fort Lee, Va., Aug. 17-24.

Maj. Gen. John R. "Jack" O'Connor, deputy chief of staff, G-4, U.S. Army Forces Command, was on hand to present the award during an a ceremony at the Regimental Club Friday. He was accompanied by Brig. Gen. Gwen Bingham and Command Sgt. Maj. James Sims, Quartermaster School commandant and regimental CSM, respectively.

Staff Sgt. Jason Parmer, 753rd QM Co. noncommissioned officer in charge, said he thought his team was among the top three competitively, especially during the second phase events held at Fort Lee. Still, he said he was flabbergasted the moment the 753rd were declared the winners.

"It was surreal," he said. "It was really, really, really tough to take in. I did tear up a bit."

Parmer added that fist pumps and back slaps followed as team members walked up to the center of the club room for the trophy presentation.

"It was awesome," he said.

The 14th QM Co. of Greensburg, Pa., captured second place and a team from the 10th Special Forces Group of Fort Carson, Colo., finished third.

Seventeen, four-Soldier teams took part in the 10th water purification event called the ROWPU (Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit) Rodeo. It was conceived in 1997 as a way to train and educate water purification specialists as well as to foster confidence and camaraderie in the water treatment community. Units from the Marine Corps, U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard have competed in past events.

The 573rd team shared in that camaraderie and competitive spirit for the first time last year.

Parmer said it benefited considerably from the experience, learning to better work as a team in addition developing individual skills.

"Each Soldier brought a particular specialty to the table, and we utilized those strengths," he said.

During the first phase of the rodeo at Fort Story, team representatives were quizzed on their technical knowledge and teams were challenged to operate a 3K Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit by the most efficient means possible.

Parmer said he figured his team wasn't in first place after the first phase and a few events of the final phase but wasn't far behind the leaders.

"Going into the last event of the competition, we knew that in order to catch the leaders, we had to be flawless," he said.

They weren't exactly error-free but scored well enough to solidify the victory.

"We did what we had to do," he said.

The 753rd became the second U.S. Army Reserve unit in three years to win the competition. Parmer said his team's performance is further validation that Reserve units are as competitive and well-trained as active duty units.

"I think we train a little harder because we're a little bit paranoid that when we get into a serious (operational or training) environment that we might not succeed," he said. "So we're always motivated to do better, and I think it's a staple for all Reserve units to follow -- that we're not here to be pushed around; we're the real deal, and if we're challenged, we're going to bring it just like any other component."

Parmer said the 753rd team will lose two members soon, but he is looking to replace them as soon as possible in preparation for next year's competition.

"We'll look at what we already have in the unit and how Soldiers are being evaluated during [advanced individual training] to determine what we need to do to replace them," he said.

The Quartermaster School's Petroleum and Water Department hosted the Water Purification Rodeo at Fort Lee and supported it throughout. The Forces Command Training Cluster, Saltwater Annex, hosted the event at Fort Story.

Military water treatment specialists trained at Fort Lee conduct water reconnaissance, select sites, identify water sources and treatment processes, and purify water from sources using the Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Units during tactical and humanitarian operations.

Page last updated Thu August 30th, 2012 at 00:00