• First Sgt. Walter Barrow, left, and Capt. Mark Degen, right, stand alongside Lt. Col. Steven Carozza, commander, 16th Ordnance Battalion after he presented them with the Maintainer's Trophy Nov. 3. The trophy is awarded to the company that performed best in a multi-sport competition.

    Award winners

    First Sgt. Walter Barrow, left, and Capt. Mark Degen, right, stand alongside Lt. Col. Steven Carozza, commander, 16th Ordnance Battalion after he presented them with the Maintainer's Trophy Nov. 3. The trophy is awarded to the company that performed...

  • Advanced individual training Soldiers sprint toward the finish line during a 100-meter dash event that was part of the inaugural 16th Ordnance Battalion Maintainer's Cup competition here Nov. 3.

    Maintainer sprint

    Advanced individual training Soldiers sprint toward the finish line during a 100-meter dash event that was part of the inaugural 16th Ordnance Battalion Maintainer's Cup competition here Nov. 3.

FORT LEE, Va. (Nov. 14, 2012) -- A new tradition was born here during the early morning hours of Nov. 3.

Breathing in the brisk autumn air of southern Virginia, more than 1,600 Soldiers and cadre members from the 16th Ordnance Battalion, 59th Ord. Brigade, stood tall in formation wearing their winter Army Physical Fitness Uniforms.

It was not the start of a typical day of training. On this morning, they were there to participate in the battalion's inaugural Maintainer's Cup competition. The Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Steven N. Carozza helped set the stage by encouraging the Soldiers to actively participate in the events, "In the spirit of friendly competition," but ultimately to just have fun and enjoy the day.

"We chose a different name for the event so it didn't conflict with the 59th Ord. Bde. Commander's Cup, held each year in the late spring," noted 1st Lt. Roberto Marshall, one of the organizers. "It's a name that reflects our battalion motto -- 'Train to Maintain' -- and we are often referred to as the Maintainers. And, of course, these types of events are always an excellent way to build esprit de corps within the battalion and focus on friendly competition."

Six companies -- Alpha Assassins, Bravo Bull Dogs, Charlie Rock, Delta Desperados, Echo Enforcers and Foxtrot Phantoms -- squared off for the championship trophy.

Maintainer's Cup events were conducted simultaneously throughout the Ordnance Campus. The assortment of sports included volleyball, football, kickball, basketball and track -- each one structured as a six-team, single elimination tournament providing opportunities for Soldiers in every company to compete. The competition set-up also ensured winning would be a group effort as every company fielded a team for each event and the results of the combined teams' performance would determine the championship winners.

"We saw many similarities to the Spring Brigade Commander's Cup Competition when the 16th's Bravo Bulldogs won the day with a consistent performance that overcame all other contenders," Marshall said. "The pride and en-truly inspiring and our battalion's command team knew this type of event would continue to encourage that kind of healthy competitiveness and positive morale."

Marshall gave a nod to key players like Command Sgt. Maj. Cheryl Greene, Battalion CSM, who worked with the Alpha Company command team -- Capt. Taneshia Warren and 1st Sgt. Kristina Turner -- to put together a committee from across the battalion to orchestrate the details of the operation and spread the word.

"It didn't take long for the fire to ignite," Marshall said. "In the weeks approaching the big day, the energy throughout the battalion spiked. Teams were seen practicing and drilling after final formation. Company commanders and first sergeants could be heard trash-talking one another to build the spirit of competition, and the Maintainer's Cup was already being spoken of as an item of long tradition and desire."

Although participation was limited to Soldiers-in-training, Families of both cadre and advanced individual training students were invited to attend, and spouses and children sat on the sidelines to cheer on the players and mingle. Those who were unable to find a position in one of the team events were afforded the option to play indoor games like poker and dominoes in the Warrior Training Facility. Inflatable obstacle courses were rented as another non-competitive pastime.

In the early afternoon, warmed by the autumn sun, the event concluded with the awards ceremony formation on Whittington Parade Field. The first place winners of each sport were recognized with a team trophy and medallion for each member. The male and female winners of the 100-meter dash were recognized with a special certificate granting them the honorary title of "fastest Ordnance Soldiers in the battalion." Finally, the Maintainer's Cup recipient was named -- the Bravo Bulldogs continued their championship run, now holding both the brigade and battalion championship cups … until next time.

The reaction to the announcement of the winner and overall success of the occasion reaffirmed the battalion commander's intent. He said he anticipates this as the first step in a new tradition for the battalion with Maintainer's Cup competitions being conducted on a more regular basis.

Page last updated Wed November 14th, 2012 at 00:00