JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (Nov. 7, 2014) -- Soldiers proved their mettle during the Iron Dragon Leader Certification Course here, Oct. 30.

During the event, Soldiers from the 110th Chemical Battalion (Technical Escort), took part in an eight-mile ruck march through the North Fort of Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Traversing paved roads, dirt trails and forested hills through heavy rain, the Soldiers of the 110th Chemical Battalion, encountered six different skill and knowledge stations along the way, which challenged them to work together.

The stations included maintenance, weapons, medical, communications, movement techniques, reporting and a written test.

The 110th Chemical Battalion is part of 48th Chemical Brigade, 20th CBRNE Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives), the Department of Defense's only formation that combats chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats.

According to 110th Chemical Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Brant Hoskins, every Soldier in the battalion participated in the certification course.

Hoskins said the course followed of a series of pre-qualifying events, where Soldiers demonstrated their proficiency in physical fitness, marksmanship and other military skills.

"The highlight of the leader certification process was the execution of the culminating event," said Hoskins, a native of Albany, Oregon. "The culminating event gives them a chance to demonstrate their proficiency in these areas."

Soldiers who achieved the standards earned a black unit belt buckle, said Hoskins. Those who exceeded standards earned a gold belt buckle and are known within the battalion as "Iron Dragon Masters."

"The highlight from the training was being able to present the belt buckles at the end of the event and see the sense of accomplishment and camaraderie among the Soldiers," said Hoskins.