The 3rd Infantry Division hosted a Best Squad Competition on Fort Stewart, Georgia, May 24-26, 2022, to identify the squad that will represent 3rd ID during XVIII Airborne Corps’ Best Squad Competition, which will take place this July at Fort Stewart.
The winning team for 3rd ID came from 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3ID.
“We are the support battalion, so we support everybody else, but we are out here being straight beasts and grinding,” Sgt. 1st Class Mk-Ada-Quet Genereaux, a combat medic assigned to 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat, 3rd ID. “I am proud of the effort my team has put in and that they have shown everyone else what the best squad truly looks like.”
The Best Squad Competition assessed each squad on its technical and tactical proficiency, as well as its ability to work as a cohesive team.
Squads consisted of five Soldiers: the squad leader, a sergeant first class or staff sergeant; a team leader, a sergeant or corporal; and three squad members in the ranks of specialist or below.
The three-day competition included various warrior tasks and battle drills, an Army Combat Fitness Test, a land navigation course, marksmanship events, and a foot march.
“Winning matters,” said Sgt. Maj. Jerry Manzanares, the senior enlisted advisor for operations and training for 3rd ID. “Our goal is to foster physical and mental toughness by creating competitions like this that bring out the best in our Soldiers. We are also cultivating a sense of cohesion not only within a squad, but within a unit and beyond. When a group experiences hardships and challenges, like those in the Best Squad Competition, the Soldiers grow closer and learn about the strengths and weaknesses each Soldier brings to the table. The more a squad or a unit is united in its goal, the stronger it is and the more successful it becomes.”
Competition events are a fundamental part of the Division's method of building lethal, cohesive teams and expert leaders.
“It’s named the Best Squad competition for a reason,” said Genereaux. “Not only is it testing a squad’s physical and mental capabilities, but also a squad’s ability to encourage one another and push through the challenge as a cohesive unit. This squad has a wheeled mechanic, three medics, and an ammunition specialist, and even though we are diverse, we still come together and are there for one another. Despite the diversity, at this moment we are all experiencing the same challenge. If someone has to take off their ruck and take a knee, we are going to put that on our back because we understand what our fellow Soldier is experiencing. We have that family mentality that allows us to overcome and move forward as a team.”
The 3rd ID trains diligently and deliberately to create cohesive teams prepared to win on future battlefields, and events like the Best Squad Competition allow leaders to test those teams. They also showcase the culture of care, pride and ownership that junior leaders within those squads cultivate on a day-to-day basis.
“I would describe this squad as resilient,” said Spc. Matthew Martin, a combat medic assigned to 703rd BSB. “We only had about a week together to prepare but came together immediately and worked hard as a team. I am a medic and there are two other medics on the team, but we also have a mechanic and an ammo guy. They taught us a lot that we don’t normally get to utilize as medics, and I’m sure we taught them a few things too. Being a diverse team allowed us to share our knowledge and build each other up.”
XVIII Airborne Corps’ Best Squad Competition is slated to take place in July and will pit squads from across the Corps in direct competition to see which Division can lay claim to the title of having the “Best Squad.”