FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. -- For four straight years, the 704th Military Intelligence Brigade has ruled the grueling Super Squad competition during the National Security Agency's observance of Armed Forces Week on May 17.
This year, Soldiers of the 704th MI known as the "Electron Recon Brigade" bested competitors from the Marine Corps, Air Force and the NSA Police to win first place in the overall competition that stretched more than 5 miles across Fort Meade.
"I'm really excited about our brigade taking first place because working in intelligence, people think we're pretty nerdy. But it was awesome to come out and win and show people that we're pretty brawny as well," said Sgt. Deion D. Collins, a signals analyst assigned to the 741st MI Battalion.
Collins devoted the last 30 days training the 18 Soldiers who competed in the competition.
"I am very proud of our Soldiers," he said. "They have been coming in at 5 a.m. every day to give it all they've got, and it paid off."
The three teams of Soldiers that represented the 704th MI took first, third and fourth place during the event.
Sgt. Michael L. Woods of the 741st MI served as the Super Squad blue team captain for the 704th MI.
Physical fitness, he said, is the cornerstone of the competition, but the key to their success was team work.
"Our teams put in a lot of hard work," Woods said. "We trained together, we motivated each other, we worked as a team to help each other complete the challenges together and that's what you need to do to win."
He stressed that Collins and Capt. Lance Mogard were also instrumental to the team's success.
"I don't think we could have won without their leadership," Woods said. "They organized everything to help us prepare for the competition and even though they weren't official competitors, they ran with and motivated our teams the entire way."
Dozens of Soldiers and civilians from the Electron Recon brigade lined the streets at each station cheering on their competitors.
"I saw so many 704th patches out there and watched them cheer us on," Woods said. "It felt amazing to get that kind of support."
The Super Squad competition ended at Burba Lake, where the teams crossed the finish line to celebrate Armed Forces Week with a barbecue.
"I feel great about winning," Woods said. "This is my third year competing in this event and while the challenges never get any easier, the competition is always fun."