FORT HOOD, Texas- Physical training is fundamental and beneficial for all Soldiers, but sometimes monotony can set it in and a change of pace is needed.

To ensure that change Soldiers from B. Company "Legions", 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, participated in the Bravo Company Physical Training Challenge on Fort Hood April 21.

A similar PT challenge took place last year within the company but this was the first squad-based competition within the company since 2006, said Sgt. Chad Mackey, a Hampton, Va. native and infantryman for B. Co., 1st Bn., 8th Cav. Regt.

The five-event competition consisted of a three-mile run, pull-ups/chin-ups, litter carry, weapons disassembly and assembly and the bench press, said 1st Lt.. Matthew Parks, a Selma, Ala. Native and a platoon leader for B. Co., 1st Bn., 8th Cav. Regt.

The events were chosen to challenge the Soldiers within different areas of their everyday training, said Staff Sgt. Anthony Davis, a platoon sergeant with B. Co., 1st Bn., 8th Cav. Regt.

"It (the challenge) builds cohesions, esprit de corps and challenges the Soldiers both physically and technically," said Davis.

Building morale and challenging the Soldiers is exactly what the competition did, according to Mackey. The challenge helped lessen the monotony that would normally come with day-to-day training.

"The cohesion within my squad was good but I haven't seen these guys this motivated in a long time," said Mackey.

Including weapons to enhance the technical side of the competition was a plus for the Soldiers.

"The different events were good," said Mackey, "It brought in different stressors... it makes them (his Soldiers) think."

Another motivator was the prize being awarded, the company's coveted 'Gladius', a wooden sword that replicates the ones used by Roman legionary. Its design was inspired by the Roman legions from which B. Co.'s motto derived, said Parks.

The winning team was 2nd platoon, consisting of: Staff Sgt. Adam Rondon, Spc. Oliver Alvarado, Pfc. Seamon Jones, Pfc. Ashley Pearman, Pfc. Ismail Jennai, Pvt. Brian McDougal, Pvt. Justin Tomlin and Pvt. Max Torres.