FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Fort Leonard Wood’s Marine Corps Detachment took the top spot at the seventh-annual Joint Service Truck Rodeo, hosted by the 58th Transportation Battalion Friday at Training Area 228.
“The event gives us the opportunity to show that what we do matters,” said Company B Executive Officer 1st Lt. Jason Bell, the event organizer. “We have a very active part in this community and environment.”
This was the first win for the Marines since 2019. The team of Staff Sgts. Raphael Johnson and Dustin Backe and Cpls. Eduardo Tapia and Clayton Ainscough battled against their Soldier, Sailor and Airmen vehicle operator counterparts for the title, “King of the Road,” as they competed in four events, each hosted by a different branch.
According to 58th Trans. Bn. Commander Lt. Col. William Weaver, the annual event serves as an opportunity for the services to come together, build morale and forge relationships.
“The Joint Truck Rodeo is a great event for the Soldiers of 58th Transportation Battalion and for our sister service partners here in the Fort Leonard Wood community,” he said. “Our instructors look forward to testing their skills against Airmen, Sailors and Marines. It keeps morale up and everybody has a good time.”
Ainscough, an instructor with the Marine Corps Motor Transportation Instructor Company here, also earned the Outstanding Individual Award. This was his first year competing in the rodeo.
“I have always been humble about what I do,” he said. “This was a good way for me to test how good I really am.”
U.S. Army Chief of Transportation and Commandant of the U.S. Army Transportation School, Col. Beth Behn, and Transportation Corps Regimental Command Sgt. Maj. Randy Brown, came from Fort Lee, Virginia to show their support for the event.
“This provided us an opportunity to meet our teammates from the other services, who are also engaged in training equipment operators, and to exchange ideas and initiatives,” Behn said. “I'd like to offer my congratulations to the Marine Corps team that took the trophy and my thanks to our Navy and Air Force teammates who joined in the competition.”
The Army team of five was chosen out of more than 220 cadre, performed extremely well and served as excellent representatives of the Army’s Transportation Corps, Behn said.
The events this year included a 90-degree alley dock backing hosted by the Army; a question mark alley dock backing hosted by the Marines; a parallel parking event hosted by the Navy and a forward and reverse serpentine hosted by the Air Force. The group event had service members loading a Humvee on a truck, securing it and unloading it.
The winning team was awarded the trophy, which they will hold onto until next year’s rodeo, and Certificates of Achievement, Bell said.
More photos from this year's Joint Service Truck Rodeo are available on the Fort Leonard Wood Flickr page.