Company and battalion commanders throughout the 193rd Infantry Brigade started their day in the early hours on April 26, but not in the usual manner. They traded their daily office commutes for a more rugged environment and went tactical in events that included a ruck march to Fort Jackson's Fit to Win II course.

"We did the Bayonet Challenge, a physically demanding team building event," said 193rd Infantry Brigade commander Col. J.C. White. "People will be tired tomorrow. A few sore muscles, but that's OK."

Due to the unique training cycle on Fort Jackson, many of the commanders have never met face-to-face. Commanders were able to participate in the challenge that allowed them to network with each other while completing the day's tasks by taking the day to create small teams.

"We didn't allow any brigades to be pure," said 1st Lt. Manny Cabrera, an operations officer assigned to the 193rd Infantry Brigade S3.

There are six battalions within the brigade. All 28 battalion and company commanders were broken into seven to eight member teams with no more than two from any battalion.

Cabrera said creating the teams this way ensured officers would be able to better know and work with their peers.

Each team was then sent to complete several tasks that included the Team Development Course, obstacle course, barrier shoot at Aachen Range and cognitive skills lane.

"The two obstacle courses were pretty good," said Lt. Col. Dare Rapanotti, commander of the 120th Adjutant General Battalion, when asked about her favorite event. "We are a little different in the 120th; we don't do a lot with basic training. We aren't really familiar with these events, so I'm really proud of my team for finishing (the challenge)."
The teams had a short time to discover each other's strengths and weaknesses as they approached each event. The team development course would test all their strengths. Each obstacle contained a scenario where teams needed to secure an ammo crate and successfully maneuver the crate through a ravine or culvert within 20 minutes. The teams were graded according to how far they had made it through the task and how many teammates were safely across the obstacle. At the end of the day, these points were tallied and one team reigned victorious.
"Everyone did well and it accomplished what I wanted it to," White said.
After the day was complete, the commanders headed back to the 193rd Infantry Brigade's headquarters building where grilled hamburgers and hotdogs awaited them.
"I heard different captains call each other by their first names today and they just met this morning," White said. "Everyone did well, finished and met the intent today. They did a really great job."