PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan - The soldiers of 5th Squadron "Muleskinner" Squadron 3rd Cavalry Regiment, have spent their deployment deep into retrograde operations since their arrival.

Yet, for one day, their commander, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Michelle Donahue, made sure they focused on their morale during their, first Commander's Cup shooting and physical competition at Forward Operation Base Shank Aug. 3, 2014.

"Today is a day for Muleskinner troopers to take a break from our daily sustainment and retrograde operations and enjoy a friendly competition amongst one another," Donahue said.
U.S. Army Col. Cameron Cantlon, 3rd Cavalry Regiment commander, was also in attendance for the competition.

He emphasized the importance of having esprit-de-corps activities in order to break up the monotony of everyday operations and added that was an "outstanding opportunity" for the troopers of Muleskinner Squadron to get together, have fun, and build morale.

Eight teams from "Bullwhip," "Packhorse," "Blacksmith," and "Scalpel" troops participated in the competition and after two rounds of intense physical exertion while displaying mental toughness Bullwhip came out victorious.

Cantlon said he is looking forward to the next Commander's Cup event, and is considering bringing a team from the Regiment to participate.

"Overall, the Commander's Cup competition was a great success that increased the camaraderie within Muleskinner, ultimately making the unit a better team that can get the job done," said U.S. Army Capt. James Holman II, Muleskinner Adjutant