Aristotle once said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

Excellence is exactly what the 10th Mountain Division Headquarters is striving for during their two-week, mission command Warfighter Exercise at Fort Drum, New York. The exercise kicked off June 4 at Division Hill to test and validate the staff functions for the division.

The division staff is conducting operations on a simulated battlefield using digital and real-world role-playing scenarios in order to test, validate and improve division staff systems to prepare them for future missions and deployments.

As with any exercise or fight on the battlefield, there are times of uncertainty, chaos, and lack of comfort. This exercise is where the staff is working out those kinks.

"In any fight, be it the current one we're in now or any future wars that we get into, we need to continue to practice and rehearse not being comfortable," said Capt. Travis Shaw, commander, Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division. "We have to be comfortable being uncomfortable."

Although the Warfighter Exercise serves as a culminating event for staff functions, it also helps bring individual sections together as a team.

"Synchronization and team building are key, said Capt. Lauren Cooper, an observer controller/trainer with the 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade from Fort Benning, Ga., whose unit is helping support the exercise. "If you can bring the team together, you'll be fine. Challenge your concept of normal."

The division is looking to finish the Warfighter Exercise strong and make excellence a habit instead of just an act.