By Staff Sgt. Jennifer Bunn, 2nd Brigade Combat Team PAO NCOICMarch 26, 2015
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (March 26, 2015) -- The history and lineage of a unit is literally worn on the chest and sleeve of present-day Soldiers. Some patches and regimental distinctive insignia are the same design as when they were created for an Army organization that was constituted in the early 1900s.
To pay tribute to their heritage, troopers assigned to 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, participated in the McChrystal-Briles Competition on March 20 at Fort Drum.
The event is named after Lt. Col. Herbert J. McChrystal and Staff Sgt. Herschel F. Briles. Both stand out prominently in the troopers' history. In 1941, McChrystal became the first commander for the 899th Tank Destroyer Battalion, a precursor to 89th Cavalry Regiment. Briles was recognized for his gallantry during a firefight near Scherpenseel, Germany, in 1944, for which he earned the Medal of Honor.
"History is important," said Sgt. Dennis Dunckley, a member of the winning C Company team. "That's what makes us who we are. I think knowing our history and bringing our history to life like we did today is a very important part of not only just being in the Army but knowing who we are in the Army as well."
To weave past events with each stage of the competition, a segment of the regiment's history was read to Soldiers. That slice of history correlated in some way with the event they were about to take part in.
Each troop within the squadron assembled a team of seven Soldiers, a total of five teams, to participate in the round-robin structured competition to test Soldier tasks, skills and physical stamina.
The five challenging events included M-4 rifle marksmanship, the Mountain Athlete Warrior fitness test, obstacle course, casualty medical lane and a situational training lane where participants donned masks and paintball guns. Teams also moved from one event to another on foot with a fully loaded ruck on their back.
Although Dunckley thought the obstacle course and the MAW were the most challenging mentally and physically respectively, he is most proud of his team's performance on the medical lane.
"We knew exactly what we were doing. We did it. We had purpose, motivation and direction. We just got it done," he said proudly. "It is something we go over a lot, and it's something that is very important when it comes time to go to combat."
At the end of the day, the scores were tallied and the winning C Company team stood tall in front of the squadron formation. Lt. Col. Larry V. Geddings Jr, squadron commander, awarded each team member an Army Achievement Medal and a battalion commander's coin of excellence.
"There was a lot of good work that went on today, and I tell you I am absolutely ecstatic about the way today went down," Geddings said proudly.