By Staff Sgt. Simon McTizic
2nd ABCT Public Affairs Office
Fort Benning, Ga. -- After a week of completing grueling tasks in the blistering Georgia heat, the Gainey Cup team from 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, came away with more than just being one of the top scouts in the world at the 2019 Gainey Cup, held April 22 through May 3.
Staff Sgt. Michael Moon, Sgt. Gage Duteau, Spc. Joseph Santiago, Spc. Nicholas Simpson, Spc. Ryan Tinsley and Spc. Nigel Williamson represented the Dagger Brigade at this year's international competition.
"I was voluntold I would be participating in the Gainey Cup," Williamson said. "When I heard that, it actually gave me a lot of confidence. This is the competition for the best scouts in the world and I was excited to compete against other scouts. It was an honor to be picked for this team and I am grateful that my leadership believed in me and gave me this opportunity."
The team didn't have much time to prepare for the competition; they returned just three weeks prior from a demanding rotation at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California. With the little time they had, the team refined their basic Soldier tasks and practiced higher Cavalry Scout skill levels up to the start of the competition.
"[The National Training Center] set us back as far as training for the Gainey Cup went, but we all came together and luckily my guys knew their stuff," Moon said. "Every single one of us was on point and we definitely did a lot better than what I thought we would do."
The scouts competed in three full days of events, which included a scout skills test, scout squad proficiency, scout lethality and the final charge. These events pushed every team to their limits.
"There are no losers here," said Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Joe Gainey. "There's no first and there's no last, this is like the NFL; all these teams are pros -- pro scouts."
The squad finished seventh out of 25 competing teams from across Army and the world. International partner militaries included teams from Canada, Germany, Great Britain and the Netherlands.
Every event was designed to test the teamwork of the squad. For one scout, the Gainey Cup was more than just a contest, it embodies what it means to be a great scout.
"Practicing all the skills you need to know and seeing how proficient you are at your job, shows that you can't do everything by yourself," Tinsley said. "You need your whole team and that everyone is important in their role."