FORT CARSON, Colo. - Soldiers grabbed for outstretched arms as they pulled one another out of the crowd and onto the top of a container during "Operation Smoked Turkey" Nov. 24.
The third annual Thanksgiving-themed physical training event for the Soldiers of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, focused on the importance of cohesive teamwork and provided an opportunity for the Soldiers to showcase pride for their unit.
"It's great to see the motivation and teamwork inherent to these brigade-wide physical readiness training events," said Col. David Hodne, commander, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "Most Soldiers were so focused on negotiating the obstacles and helping their team that they did not realize they ran almost five miles and climbed almost 50 flights of stairs. Of course, deliberately introducing a little chaos, friction and confusion to test leaders made the event even more fun and memorable."
Soldiers of the brigade have learned to anticipate these annual events and compete for the fastest completion time with their respective company, troop or battery.
"We've been mentally preparing ourselves for the past two weeks and pretty much crushing physical training day-in and day-out looking forward to this event," said 1st Sgt. David Briseno, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "The bottom line is you stay unified as a team. You start as a team and you finish as a team."
Formations of Soldiers negotiated over tall walls, traversed through tank ditches, crawled under barbed wire and over shipping containers while moving through the course with a heavy, unruly Medium Tactical Vehicle tire.
"Overall it was quite a challenge. All of us have different abilities so we had to make sure that everyone was involved as a team," said Pfc. Stephen Muranga, water treatment specialist, Alpha Company, 4th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "We should organize more of these events. It was a good team building event overall."