By Pfc. Justin Naylor, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public AffairsJune 20, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, KIRKUK, Iraq- Basketball, football, ping pong, and video games usually aren't all part of one competition. But for Soldiers and Airmen that competed in the Commander's Cup at Forward Operating Base Warrior, Kirkuk, Iraq, all of these and more were used to find out which team was the best.
The competition was spread out over the month of May, with the final competitions and the award ceremony taking place on May 24.
Service members participated in 16 different events that would test more than just their physical prowess.
"We had both sporting and recreational events," explained Dave Rashleigh, a Colombia, S. C., native and a Morale, Welfare and Recreation technician on FOB Warrior. "We wanted to test their minds and bodies."
Because of the nature of the event, it attracted more than just the average sports enthusiast.
"The goal was to get both jocks and intellectuals to participate," said Rashleigh.
Rashleigh, along with other MWR employees, began contacting the different units around FOB Warrior two months before the competition began.
"We got about 16 units to participate in the competition," he said. "The units made it easy to get participants to come and compete."
Even Soldiers stationed at K-1, an Iraqi Army base where a team of U.S. Soldiers assist the Iraqi Army in military training, sent a team to participate in an event.
The K-1 team came all the way to Warrior just to take part in the running event, explained Rashleigh. Even though the team knew they were not going to win the cup, they still wanted to take part.
"It was a very high level of competition," he said. "All the teams did a great job."
For some of the Soldiers who participated, the competition was a chance to work together as a team and test their skills against other units.
"I like the team events that had a lot of people," said Capt. Joseph Guzowski, a Buffalo, N.Y., native and the commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. "They were great because we could get everyone working together."
Although HHC's team came in a close second place overall, the "Dealers" were very proud of how they performed.
"I thought we did outstanding," said Guzowski. "We showed that we can play in everything. Given the mission load and special jobs of the people in our company, I am very happy that we could get a team together."
"If there is another [Commander's Cup] we will be there," Guzowski continued.
As the last events wrapped up May 24, Soldiers from the various units that competed met at FOB Warrior's Mountain Warrior Gym to watch as the winners from 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div., were awarded the cup.
The winning team was comprised of Soldiers from throughout 15th BSB, who, despite fierce competition, managed to pull through as the victor.
"It was very competitive; we were fairly evenly matched," said 1st Sgt. Derrick Chambers, a Morven, N.C., native and the 1st Sgt. for Company B, 15th BSB.
"I was very excited to see these guys pull together in spite of the tremendous work schedule," Chambers said.
The cup was presented to Lt. Col. Christopher Whittaker, the commander of 15th BSB, and will be displayed at the battalion headquarters where 15th BSB Soldiers and visitors alike can see it.
"This is not my trophy, it is yours," said Whittaker with cup in hand to the Soldiers of 15th BSB.