Palehorse Troop, 4th Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment is currently preparing to participate in to the U.S. Army's 4th Biennial Gainey Cup Best Scout Squad competition, hosted at Fort Benning, Ga. later this spring. The Gainey Cup is designed to test each competing squad's proficiency in reconnaissance and scout knowledge. Those that are deemed the most proficient will win the Gainey Cup.

Staff Sgt. Kurt Taveras, squad leader, Palehorse Troop, 4/2CR, put together a squad of highly motivated Soldiers determined to win. Taveras, having already previously competed for the Gainey Cup, has a better understanding of what it takes in order to win this year's competition.

To prepare for the demanding competition, Taveras developed a month-long rigorous training and selection program, which tested the tactical and technical proficiency of the Soldiers in his platoon. In just three weeks, from Jan. 7 - 25, 2019, they completed a week-long M4 rifle range density that concluded with a stress shoot, a day and night land navigation testing, a 10-mile foot march, an observation post training and a scout knowledge written exam.

The top performing squad of these tasks was immediately recognized and selected by Taveras to be the competing squad.

"My team and I feel highly confident heading into the 2019 Gainey Cup," said Taveras.

For Saber Squadron, this competition is particularly important. In 2015, Staff Sgt. Kyle Cooper served in the squadron and led his squad to win the Gainey Cup. Taveras and his squad, therefore, have a deep sense of commitment to return the cup to the Saber Squadron.

"Myself and another member on the team have previously competed and have a personal vendetta to coming back for the win," said Taveras. "We are looking forward to seeing what the Armor Branch has to offer and cannot wait to bring what we have to Fort Benning come this April."

Taveras' squad will represent both 2CR and the U.S. Army Europe in this year's competition.