CAMP BULLIS, Texas -- Sgt. Michael Henry, and Staff Sgt. Joseph Cook, were the top performers during the 80th Training Command Logistical Training competition, also known as a truck rodeo, here Sept. 1-4, 2015.
Henry placed first in the mechanic's category representing B Company 3/379th Logistic Support Battalion, and Cook took first place in the truck driver's category as a member of B Company 3/399th LSB,
Both competitors received a winner's plaque and Army Achievement Medal from Col. Howard Geck, 80th Training Command deputy operations officer during an awards ceremony at the Army Reserve Center here.
"This last week you were able to increase your knowledge, skills and abilities, which helps to build you up as leaders," Geck said in a speech during the ceremony. "Take this information back to your units to train up your soldiers."
The 'Truck Rodeo' tests the competence level of Army truck drivers and wheeled vehicle mechanics who provide transportation and maintenance services to 80TC training facilities.
"There was some good competition here, I did not expect this at all," Henry said.
Competitors teamed together as driver and mechanic to negotiate the multiple stations in order to accrue the most points. The stations ae designed to test the skills of both drivers and mechanics allowing each individual to take turns as leader and assistant during each event.
"This year's competition had the best mix of evaluators from across the five battalions of the 800th Logistics Support Brigade," said 80th TC Command Sgt. Maj. Jeff Darlinton. "The evaluators don't just give a go or no go ... after each lane the soldiers had a discussion so there was actually a training benefit."
For the second year in a row the 3/399th LSB earned the coveted battalion cup, which goes to the competition's best performing battalion.
Next year's rodeo, which is currently in the planning phase, is open to all 80th TC soldiers in the transportation and ordinance career fields.
"We'd love to see more participation," said Col. Bradley Boganoski, commander of the 800th LSB.
Spc. Kristian McPherson, 3/379th LSB, who participated in this year's rodeo, said the experience was more than a competition.
"It's been amazing, and I've learned a lot," McPherson said. "I feel like I've challenged myself a lot more, [and] I am going to be a better soldier for it and I have a lot to bring back to my unit."