FORT RILEY, Kansas - The 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley hosted a “Big Red One Year of the Noncommissioned Officer” team-building event at Camp Forsyth Soccer Complex on Fort Riley, Kansas, July 20, 2023.
The event started with three different games of “Duraball,” a unique team-building experience in which ultimate football, soccer and rugby are played simultaneously on one field.
Sergeants major played against corporals, first sergeants played against sergeants and sergeant first class’ played against staff sergeants, bridging the gap between the ranks.
“We are out here doing a team building event,” said Sgt. Maj. R. Terry Woods Jr., the operations sergeant major for 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. “We brought the NCOs together to strengthen the bonds between our NCOs.”
This event brought the NCOs together to reinforce the connections that were already there and to create new ones. Big Red One NCOs are stronger together.
“It is important for us to come together like this to get that face-to-face interaction that you don’t get on a day-to-day basis,” said Staff Sgt. Evan Ruchotzke, a mass communications specialist assigned to the 19th Public Affairs Detachment, 1st Inf. Div., who played on the staff sergeants’ team.
The final match was a fierce game between the sergeants major and the sergeants first class. Although the sergeants first class played a good game, the sergeants major prevailed, claiming the championship title with an 18-16 victory over the younger NCOs.
Leaders need to pass on the history of their organization, maintain mission readiness and develop unit cohesion in order to accomplish a mission, according to the NCO guide. Upholding traditions ensures the Army’s culture becomes indispensable to every member of the Army team. This event allowed the 1st Infantry Division’s NCOs the opportunity to engage, reflect upon, and share their experience while participating in healthy competition.
“I look forward to continuing to build that cohesion throughout our corps of NCOs,” said Sgt. 1st Class Reginald Lawson, a motor transport operator assigned to the 541st Division Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. “I can’t wait to do more events like this.”