By Sgt. Michael SmithMarch 9, 2018
The 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (553rd CSSB), 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade (1CDSB), held its "Best Squad Competition" at Fort Hood, Texas, March 8.
Seven teams, one from each company in the battalion, participated in the competition which consisted of each team rotating through six lanes of mental and physical skills tests.
The subject matter included weapons familiarity, radio communications, medical, map reading, chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear attack, and vehicle maintenance ending in a one hundred-meter tire flip race against the clock.
"It's a fun competition, but it's still teaching the basics of soldier skills," said Command Sgt. Maj. Arnaldo Muniz, command sergeant major, 553rd CSSB, 1CDSB,
"Sometimes as logisticians, we get more technical than tactical, and this is an opportunity to really sharpen certain skills that we may not get to use every day."
Congratulations to the 664th Ordnance Company for winning the competition. Each member of the team received an Army Achievement Medal and a four-day pass.
"I think it's a great opportunity to be able to train and develop soldiers," said Staff Sgt. Jessica Imm, ammunition noncommissioned officer, 664th Ordnance Company, 553rd CSSB, 1CDSB. "Events like this give us the chance to get the unit together on a different level, and get soldiers out of their comfort zone."
Although the knowledge and level of training are an important aspect of competitions like this one, both participants and observers seemed to agree that just as important, is the level of pride and teamwork that this brings out in soldiers.
"My favorite part of events like this is seeing the teamwork and the energy within the teams," said Muniz. "You really see the morale and pride in the unit. It really does instill a sense of pride in the organization."
Although being a member of the winning team feels great, not to mention an award and a four-day weekend, but Imm said she gets just as much intrinsic value from watching her soldiers working as an effective team.
"You can train soldiers to do things a million different ways, but when you're out here and see a group of soldiers really working well together, that gives you a different feeling inside," said Imm. "That is where the real sense of pride and comradery comes in."
Sgt. 1st Class Adam Hipwell, operations noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC), Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 553rd CSSB, 1CDSB, one of the organizers and NCOICs of the competition, expressed similar sentiments.
"Strong competition is healthy for esprit de corps," said Hipwell. "I think it brings out the best in soldiers to challenge and push each other."