The United States Training and Doctrine Command announced the winner of the TRADOC Best Squad 2023 competition, held at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., over the last 10 days. Intelligence Center of Excellence beat out the other nine teams and will represent TRADOC in the U.S. Army Best Squad competition in September and October.
“I can’t say enough how proud I am of ICoE, and I know they will have a great chance at winning the Army’s Best Squad competition,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel T. Hendrex, TRADOC command sergeant major. “As we celebrate TRADOC’s 50th anniversary, this competition has shown us how skilled, professional, well-trained, and educated our NCO Corps is and how far we have come in the last five decades."
"All the teams and competitors here represent our expansive mission at TRADOC to train, educate, develop, and build the best Army in the world,” Hendrex added.
The teams that competed this year were: Combined Arms Center, Center for Initial Military Training, Intelligence Center of Excellence, Maneuver Center of Excellence, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, Cyber Center of Excellence, Aviation Center of Excellence, Combined Arms Support Command, Medical Center of Excellence and Fires Center of Excellence.
“I feel like we’ve prepared, and we’re ready to go [to the DA competition] and represent TRADOC and the Intelligence Center of Excellence,” said Spc. Drake Fryman.
In addition to winning the team award, ICoE’s Staff Sgt. Austin Simms and Pfc. Brady Dowell was named TRADOC Best NCO and Best Soldier, respectively. In addition, Simms will compete in September at the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant of the Year competition at Fort Jackson, S.C. The rest of the ICoE team is Sgt. Bradley Joseph, Staff Sgt. James Taber, and Fryman.
Other individual award winners were Staff Sgt. Cory Graf, MCoE, had the highest Army Combat Fitness Test, Simms was the Top Marksman, Drill and Ceremony/Uniform Inspection winner was Taber, ICoE, the Best Tactical Proficiency was Spc. Roby Bach from FCoE and the Technical Proficiency award was Staff Sgt. Kevin Bickly from CAC.
Over the last 10 days, the squads were pushed to their physical and mental limits with events that included more than 30 graded areas. The events included Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills, physical fitness, Army “E3B” lanes, knowledge tests, teamwork, and cohesiveness. ICoE was the competition's host unit and developed the grading criteria. The event organizers used Army physical and intellectual tests with a spin on using the local Arizona terrain and history.
“Each of the [competition’s] events were intended to test not only the squads’ physical, cognitive, and teamwork abilities but also to further connect the Army and the civilian population by allowing the communities to interact with the squads,” Sgt. Maj. Eric Murray, ICoE operations sergeant major, said.
Intelligence Center of Excellence will continue to train and prepare to represent TRADOC at the Army’s Best Squad competition at Fort Stewart, Ga. That competition will begin in late September and culminate at the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition in October.