The Crucible of Excellence: Unpacking the Significance of Army's Best Squad Competitions

By 16th Military Police BrigadeNovember 2, 2023

16th MP Brigade Best Squad Competition
16th Military Police Brigade Soldiers get briefed for the next event of the brigade's Best Squad Competition at Fort Liberty, N.C., on Oct. 16, 2023. The brigade is the most diverse of military police brigades and has five locations: Fort Liberty, NC; Fort Campbell, KY; Fort Drum, NY; Fort Polk, LA; and Fort Stewart, GA. (Photo Credit: Pfc. Alexcia Rupert) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LIBERTY, N.C. — The air was thick with anticipation and determination as Soldiers from various units geared up to showcase their capabilities in the 16th Military Police Brigade's Best Squad Competition. From Oct. 16 to Oct. 18, Fort Liberty became a crucible of grit and skill, and standing triumphant as the winner was the team from the 503rd Military Police Battalion.

The competition was designed to push participants through a gauntlet of physically demanding and mentally challenging events. The Soldiers faced the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), night shooting, grenade assault courses, and a grueling 12-mile ruck march, among other tasks. Each event was crafted to simulate real-world scenarios and test the readiness of the Soldiers.

The winning squad, led by Staff Sgt. Jacob Sammis, along with Sgt. Asher Corbett, Spc. Nathan Phelps, Spc. Sylas PereaGonzalez, and Spc. Peyton Chappel, emerged as the epitome of resilience and teamwork. Their journey through the competition was a testament to the rigorous training and unwavering commitment of their team.

Sammis, reflecting on the competition, emphasized the broader implications of such events in preparing Soldiers for an unpredictable global landscape.

"This competition was designed to push the competitors physically and mentally to their limits," Sammis remarked. "In this volatile world, it's more important than ever for everyone to put themselves through these sorts of tests to validate our strengths and to identify the shortcomings we need to improve."

Beyond the physical challenges, the competition was also an arena for fostering camaraderie and esprit de corps among the participants. Soldiers had the opportunity to engage in healthy competition, learn from one another, and foster bonds that would be crucial on the battlefield.

In a world that is increasingly unpredictable, the need for a well-prepared military force is paramount. Competitions such as the Best Squad serve not only as a means of evaluating the preparedness of the Soldiers but also as a tool for continuous improvement. The challenges posed to the participants allowed them to identify areas of strength and those needing enhancement.

The competition also presented unexpected challenges in the form of mystery events. These were designed to test the adaptability and quick-thinking capabilities of the squads. In facing these challenges, the Soldiers from the 503rd Military Police Battalion showcased their ability to stay composed under pressure.

Much of a squad’s success can hinge on creating cohesive units that can function seamlessly in any situation; 503rd MP BN proved this ability by trusting one another while adapting to an ever-changing environment.