By Spc. Corine Margetiak, 1483rd TC, 541st CSSB, 15th SBDE, 13th ESCJanuary 26, 2010
CAMP TAJI, Iraq - It may have been a rodeo, but there were no clowns - only Soldiers.
The 1483rd Transportation Company, 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), held a truck rodeo on Dec. 29, in the company's motor pool on Camp Taji, Iraq.
For the last eight months, motor transport operators from the 1483rd Trans. Co. have trained on and driven heavy equipment transporter, or HET, systems, and now their skills have been put to the test.
Staff Sgt. Anthony Schroeder, the company's assistant truck master and a Luckey, Ohio, native, assisted with the set-up of the truck rodeo.
"All the platoons had teams compete at the different events and everyone else cheered on their battle buddies," Schroeder said. "The events were a serpentine course, straight-line backing, isolating a semi-trailer axle, performing preventive maintenance checks and services on the tractor, an inspection of each Soldiers' personal protective equipment, and a written test."
The 541st CSSB chaplain Capt. Nathan White, a native of Wichita, Kan., made an appearance at the truck rodeo, and with Soldiers from the unit encouraging him, he decided to test his driving skills at the straight-line backing station.
Even though he had never driven a HET before, the chaplain earned a time better than some of the competing Soldiers.
"The truck rodeo was a good test of all of our skills," said Spc. Brian Ginett, a motor transport operator with the 1483rd Trans. Co. and an Antigo, Wis., native.
Ginett competed with a battle buddy at the PMCS station, but his team lost to a team from the maintenance platoon.
Overall, the company's 1st platoon won the truck rodeo followed by 2nd platoon, maintenance, and headquarters.
Sgt. Benjamin Coffman, an Ashland, Ohio, native and a motor transport operator with the 1483rd Trans. Co., visited every station to show support to the teams from his platoon.
"I think 1st platoon showed a lot of teamwork as the truck teams competed in their events," Coffman said. "Everyone cheering really boosted their morale."