Fort Jackson police and firefighters faced off in three sports events at the Child and Youth Services Sports Field Nov. 19 during the Battle of the Badges.
“This is the Battle of the Badges,” said Sgt. Maj. Bradley Lanchester, Fort Jackson Provost sergeant major. “The fire department, Department of the Army security guards, Department of the Army civilian police and military police came together for some sportsmanship and esprit de corps.”
The day started with a game of basketball. The court was filled with sneaker squeaks and shouting from the stands to cheer on their respective teams.
“They (police) blew us out in basketball,” said William Sexton, Fort Jackson fire inspector. “It ended at 31 to 14 or something like that. They crushed us.”
Kickball kicked off the second event where team fire made a comeback and won the game with a final score of 11 to 9.
“We won it in the final minutes,” Sexton said. “It’s sudden death now. Whoever wins this gets the trophy.”
Soccer was the final, tie-breaking event. The game included two 20-minute exhausting halves.
Throughout the event, jeering from the teams kept everyone laughing and the mood light despite the competitiveness each demonstrated.
“You guys want to add some extra rules now or do you want to wait until we get ahead?” shouted one.
“Al Pacino called and said he wants his hair grease back,” said another.
“Police won of course,” said Maj. John Ferrell, Fort Jackson Provost Marshal. “The teams were fighting hard and we are proud to leave with the victory.”
Sweaty and somewhat tired, the teams returned to the station house together for a lunch of grilled hotdogs, chilli and numerous side dishes.
Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. R. Cesar Durnan joined Lanchester to congratulate the teams and present the coveted three-foot trophy.
Team members jeered each other again making promises of strong return next year when they will face off again to claim the top title and years’ worth of bragging rights.
“The police, fire and emergency medical technicians see each other all the time on calls but during calls it’s down to business,” Ferrell said. “It’s good to get out to build camaraderie, fellowship and enjoy each other’s company.”
Though the day was concluded and the teams returned to their regular duties, Ferrell had some advice for the team fire for next year's Battle of the Badges.
“Keep trying,” Ferrell said jokingly. “Maybe if they (team fire) practiced sports instead of just dragging hoses around the parking lot they would do better. They tried really hard and we will work hard to get some participation trophies so everyone will leave with something.”