In a fast-paced training environment, it isn't easy for Soldiers to find time to review their own competency in the basic skills that they train to others. However, members of the 3rd Chemical Brigade recognized that they cannot afford to do anything but to train as they fight.

Soldiers assigned to the brigade were up before dawn April 30 to complete Phoenix Certification.

The certification, which is held semi-annually, reinforces critical Soldier skills in noncommissioned officers and officers who support the Initial Entry Training environment.

Teams traveled on foot to seven stations, dispersed throughout post, including a station where they had to build a radio and get it to work, conduct combatives and evacuate a casualty.

Staff Sgt. Paul Jackson Company A, 84th Chemical Battalion, 3rd Chemical Bde., said the combatives station was his favorite.

"To me, combatives is one of the most basic Soldier skills that you have got to have," Jackson, a Tucson, Arizona, native, said. "The event was good for refreshing and even remembering the most basic tasks and being able to apply them. The event sharpens Soldier skills."

In addition to being a skills refresher, the event brought the brigade together.

"The purpose of the event is to build camaraderie between sections and battalions, so that we can interact with other leaders within our whole brigade," said Sgt. 1st Class Jerry Wing, a Greenwood, Arkansas, native, with Company A, 84th Chem. BN, 3rd Chem. Bde., and noncommissioned officer in charge of the station that retested Soldiers in evacuating a casualty under fire and moving them to safety for care.

An afternoon awards ceremony and barbecue was held outside of the John B. Mahaffey museum, where Col. Jon Drushal, brigade commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Paul King, brigade command sergeant major, brought the team together to reiterate the reason that these Soldiers need to stay at the peak of their profession.

"You are building the future of the Army," Drushal said. "Understand that in your formations, every single day -- you have a future command sergeant major, or a future general officer in every one of your formations. We are building the future of the United States Army every day. That is how important your job is."

All participants received a certificate and one team -- Team 7 -- took top honors by being the fastest to negotiate the course and complete each task.

"I'm very proud of everybody," King said. "Everybody gave 110 percent. This was about warrior ethos, camaraderie and cohesive teams. This is what our profession is about."