FORT CARSON, Colo.-- A four-day battalion wide competition called "Banner Week", held Dec. 15-18, marked a new tradition at Fort Carson for Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division."We're celebrating the standing up of the battalion and completion of Operator New Equipment Training with a week of combat focused, echeloned competitions to identify the best squad, platoon and company within the battalion," said Lt. Col. Andrew Saslav, commander, 1st Bn., 38th Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "The events are intended to stress Soldiers and leaders with a combination of physically and technically demanding tasks."On the first day of Banner Week, platoons foot-marched with rucksacks through 10 stations spread out in the nearby training area.Soldiers completed a weapons assemble and disassemble, treated three casualties and called in a medical evacuation, carried four Soldiers on litters for 200 meters, moved 50 sandbags 100 meters, set-up two different types of radios, climbed a steep hill twice wearing a M40-series protective mask, flipped a tractor tire 100 meters, carried several logs for 100 meters and performed 25 squats with the logs, and negotiated onto and over Conex container obstacle before reaching the finish line of the platoon event.Squads competed in a mystery shoot at the range and a squad Field Leaders Reaction Course lane in the training area during the second day of Banner Week.The mystery shoot challenged Soldiers to fire and clear an M249 squad automatic weapon and engage targets with an M4 carbine rifle using their dominant and non-dominant hands while moving around cover.In the Field Leaders Reaction Course lane, squads were required to move themselves, two logs and a Stryker tire onto and over a Conex container without anyone or anything touching the ground within six feet in front of the container in less than 10 minutes.The third day of Banner Week involved the individual competitions of combatives, functional fitness, weightlifting, land navigation, swimming with a combat load and rucksack, and a Warrior Skills lane.On the final day, leaders from each company raced through a challenge similar to the platoon course from the first day of the competition.Soldiers patiently stood in firm ranks to learn whose hard work would be rewarded after the competition completed on the final day. A single item of memorization decided the victory for Soldiers of Company A as they swept the titles of best squad, platoon and company within the battalion."My Soldiers worked very hard and they make this company work," said 1st Sgt. Scott Feldt, first sergeant, Company A, 1st Bn., 38th Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "They understand the mission, what the battalion and brigade is trying to achieve and they're all in."The 1st SBCT commander, Col. David Hodne, and Command Sgt. Maj. Edison Rebuck presented the awards and guidon streamers to the winning Soldiers.
"I've been around infantry battalions for about 23 years and I'm proud of how far this battalion has come in the last nine months," said Hodne.