Task Force Med Soldiers compete in Crusader Challenge during Kosovo deployment

By Sgt. 1st Class Warren Wright, 138th Public Affairs DetachmentJune 15, 2022

Task Force Med Soldiers compete in Crusader Challenge during Kosovo deployment
1 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – U.S. Army Soldiers with the 547th Medical Company (Area Support), 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 62nd Medical Brigade, race to drag a stretcher with a simulated patient during the company’s Crusader Challenge at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, June 14, 2022. The Crusader Challenge was a day-long event that tested medical Soldiers’ physical and mental stamina as they competed in multiple events. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Warren W. Wright Jr., 138th Public Affairs Detachment) VIEW ORIGINAL
Task Force Med Soldiers compete in Crusader Challenge during Kosovo deployment
2 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – A U.S. Army Soldier with the 547th Medical Company (Area Support), 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 62nd Medical Brigade, stands outside the unit’s aid station just prior to the start of the company’s Crusader Challenge on Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, June 14, 2022. The Crusader Challenge was a day-long event that tested medical Soldiers’ physical and mental stamina as they competed in multiple events. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Warren W. Wright Jr., 138th Public Affairs Detachment) VIEW ORIGINAL
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3 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
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4 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Task Force Med Soldiers compete in Crusader Challenge during Kosovo deployment
5 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Warren W. Wright Jr., 138th Public Affairs Detachment) VIEW ORIGINAL
Task Force Med Soldiers compete in Crusader Challenge during Kosovo deployment
6 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – U.S. Army Soldiers with the 547th Medical Company (Area Support), 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 62nd Medical Brigade, compete in the three-mile foot march/race portion of the company’s Crusader Challenge on Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, June 14, 2022. The Crusader Challenge was a day-long event that tested medical Soldiers’ physical and mental stamina as they competed in multiple events. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Warren W. Wright Jr., 138th Public Affairs Detachment) VIEW ORIGINAL
Task Force Med Soldiers compete in Crusader Challenge during Kosovo deployment
7 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – U.S. Army Soldiers with the 547th Medical Company (Area Support), 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 62nd Medical Brigade, plot points on a map just prior to starting the land navigation portion of the company’s Crusader Challenge at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, June 14, 2022. The Crusader Challenge was a day-long event that tested medical Soldiers’ physical and mental stamina as they competed in multiple events. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Warren W. Wright Jr., 138th Public Affairs Detachment) (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Warren Wright) VIEW ORIGINAL
Task Force Med Soldiers compete in Crusader Challenge during Kosovo deployment
8 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – U.S. Army Soldiers with the 547th Medical Company (Area Support), 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 62nd Medical Brigade, race to drag a stretcher with a simulated patient during the company’s Crusader Challenge at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, June 14, 2022. The Crusader Challenge was a day-long event that tested medical Soldiers’ physical and mental stamina as they competed in multiple events. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Warren W. Wright Jr., 138th Public Affairs Detachment) (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Warren Wright) VIEW ORIGINAL
Task Force Med Soldiers compete in Crusader Challenge during Kosovo deployment
9 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – U.S. Army Soldiers with the 547th Medical Company (Area Support), 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 62nd Medical Brigade, unload a stretcher from a tactical Humvee ambulance during the company’s Crusader Challenge at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, June 14, 2022. The Crusader Challenge was a day-long event that tested medical Soldiers’ physical and mental stamina as they competed in multiple events. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Warren W. Wright Jr., 138th Public Affairs Detachment) (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Warren Wright) VIEW ORIGINAL

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – U.S. Army Soldiers with the 547th Medical Company (Area Support), 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 62nd Medical Brigade, celebrated the Army’s 247th birthday by participating in a company-level physical and mental challenge on Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, June 14, 2022.

The event, called the Crusader Challenge after the company’s nickname, tested the Soldiers’ abilities to conduct physically demanding tasks while working as a team in multiple timed and scored events.

“It was a good time and got people’s competitive energies going,” said Sgt. Colten Fowler, a healthcare specialist with the 547th MCAS and one of the competitors. “People were competing against each other, working hard; really good teamwork and overall, it went really well.”

Soldiers competed as teams in a three-mile foot march/race followed by a land navigation course that took them all over Camp Bondsteel. During the land navigation challenge, teams competed in multiple events at each location, including a stretcher drag, medicine ball throw, standing deadlift, and loading and unloading simulated patients from a tactical Humvee ambulance, to name a few.

“We had 11 land navigation points with physical and mental challenges that mirrored (Army Combat Fitness Test) activities,” said 1st Sgt. Jeremy Garrison, the company’s senior enlisted leader. “It really brings us all together. It was a great way to get to know each other, have fun, raise the esprit-de-corps and celebrate the Army’s birthday the right way.”

Each team needed to work together to complete the many challenges they faced, as most of the tasks required each member to do their part in order for the team to be successful.

“The small team sizes were really beneficial to the groups,” Garrison said. “Everybody was able to take care of each other and have a good time to get some good training.”

“We performed very well together,” Fowler added. “There weren’t any moments where there were any struggles or arguing or trying to figure out who was in charge.”

The Crusader Challenge provided Soldiers an opportunity to develop their teamwork while building camaraderie among the deployed service members. Additionally, many of the challenges performed corresponded to real-world tasks medical Soldiers may encounter, enhancing the training and readiness amongst the participants.

“To be ready, you have to be prepared to do these things at any given time,” Garrison said. “It was really a way to gauge your personal goals and get after it. And everybody took care of each other as a team, and really had fun with it.”

In total, 27 547th MCAS Soldiers competed in the event, but only one team rose above the rest to win the Crusader Challenge. In recognition of their accomplishment, Garrison awarded the winning team with a trophy. Additionally, each member of the team received a Task Force Saint Lo ornament representing the unit’s rotation in Kosovo.

“They did an amazing job; they always come to impress,” Garrison said of all the competitors. “The motivation was great and the way everybody got after it was definitely a win. The unit’s better off.”

The 547th MCAS is deployed to Kosovo as Regional Command East's Task Force Medical in support of Operation Joint Guardian, providing medical support to all the partner nations currently providing safety and security and freedom of movement for all people of Kosovo.