By Ms. Alexandra Shea (IMCOM)June 13, 2019
Starting early in the morning of June 5, the usual sounds of cadence calling were replaced by grunts of anguish and screams of encouragement across Fort Jackson as the installation continued honoring its 102nd birthday during Victory Week.
Teams, assembled from units located across the installation, pushed themselves past the point of exhaustion as they kicked off a day of competitive sports with a cross fit competition. After the competition, the competitors staggered off the field on wobbly legs. The 165th Infantry Brigade team emerged victorious with the winning time of 26 minutes and 44 seconds.
"These Soldier worked hard and they demonstrated that this week," said Brig. Gen. Milford "Beags" Beagle, Jr, Army Training Center and Fort Jackson commander. "They were getting after it from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the volleyball, softball, tug-o-war, soccer and cross fit competitions."
Unit pride showed throughout the day as teams went head to head to kick, push, tug and bat their way to earn the title of best of the best.
The U.S. Army Chaplains Center and School faced off with U.S. Army Medical Department Activity-Fort Jackson during the tug-o-war event where jeers like "thou shall not judge footwear" and "God give you strength" were exchanged. The chaplains' anchor dug his fingers into the grassy earth and helped claw his team's way through the ground, proving their corps can be warriors both for God and on the battlefield of competition.
At the end of the day, only one unit could claim the top title and the coveted Commander's Cup, a gleaming wood and metal trophy. This year's cup was awarded to the men and women of the 193rd Infantry Brigade, also known as the Bayonet Brigade. The brigade's commander Col. John White and Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond Butler proudly took center stage during the awards ceremony at the Fort Jackson Golf Club to receive the cup from Beagle and Post Command Sgt. Maj. Jerimiah Gan.
Butler expressed his pride for his fellow unit members and had some strong words for anyone planning on taking the cup at next year's competition.
"I couldn't be prouder of the Bayonet Brigade. We set the standard," Butler said. "We have an entire year to project athletes on our gains roster to ensure the cup stays where it belongs, with the Bayonet Brigade."
While the annual Victory Week celebrates the history and pride of the installation, it also fosters comradery among the units through friendly competition.
"We will see what he can bring next year," Gan said chuckling in response to Butler's warning for future cup competitors.
Victory Week events started June 1 with a cake cutting ceremony and performances by the U.S. Army Old Guard's Fife and Drum Corps and Silent Drill Team at Hilton Field. The evening was capped off with almost 30 minutes of continuous fireworks that filled the night sky and could be seen for miles around the installation.
Victory Week came to a close Saturday with a ball that celebrated not only Fort Jackson's 102nd birthday but also the Army's 244th birthday. Soldiers, veterans, retirees and their Families dresses in ball gowns and bowties to celebrate the birthdays with dinner, a cocktail hour, entertainment, guest speaker and an evening of dancing.
"I want to thank you for what you do," Beagle said. "Victory …Starts here."