FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — After a season that began more than six months late due to COVID-19 mitigation protocols, the 554th Engineer Battalion was presented with the 2021 Commander’s Cup trophy Monday in the Commander’s Briefing Room by Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, and MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood Command Sgt. Maj. Randolph Delapena.
The trophy is presented to the unit that earned the most accumulated points competing in a prepared schedule of sporting events during the fiscal year. Placing second this year was the Marine Corps Detachment, and 84th Chemical Battalion finished in third place.
Organized by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Sports Branch, the 2021 Commander’s Cup began in June with a 5K run event. It also included 3D archery, bowling, golf, a trap shoot and a swim meet. The season ended with a three-day tennis tournament in September.
According to Staff Sgt. Aaron McWilliams, 554th En. Bn. Operations NCO and the battalion’s sports representative to FMWR, this win belongs not just to the participants, but to everyone who helped make it happen.
“It takes communication, the support of all command groups and participants with a competitive nature to win the Commander’s Cup,” McWilliams said. “If any of those are missing, the whole program fails.”
According to FMWR Chief of Sports Jeff Barrett, participation in the Commander’s Cup is open to all active-duty service members, dependents out of high school and aged 18 and older, retirees and Department of Defense civilians. Teams must be made up of personnel from the same unit and consist of 75 percent active-duty personnel throughout the season.
The top three winners in each event earn the most points — first-place teams earn the maximum of 100 points, for example — but all teams receive points simply by taking part.
Barrett said the 554th Engineers have already started the 2022 Commander’s Cup season strong, taking first place in the inaugural event, volleyball, second in the 5K run, and they received participation points for flag football.
“554 is in first yet again,” Barrett said.
Still to go this season is basketball, which kicks off in January, then bowling, racquetball, swimming, soccer, mini-golf — a new addition this year — golf, trap shooting, softball and 3D archery.
“We have a pretty robust calendar throughout the year,” Barrett said. “A lot of folks seem to be excited for it to be back — we’re seeing a lot of participation.”
For information about the program, contact Danny Howell, FMWR sports specialist, at 573.596.7762, or by email at email@example.com.