By 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public AffairsAugust 4, 2011
FORT KNOX, Ky. (August 4, 2011) " The 19th Engineer Battalion sponsored its Seahorse Challenge on July 26-29, at various locations on Fort Knox.
Sharing many similarities to a Spur Ride, the Seahorse Challenge evaluated Soldier’s physical and mental endurance over multiple days.
“I’m a combat engineer and since I’ve been in the Army, we’ve had competitions known as Sapper Stakes, which decides the best engineer sapper team. This event always brought about esprit de corps and gives the Soldiers something to strive for,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Walton, the senior enlisted leader for the 19th Engineer Battalion.
“I’ve always tried to organize competitions to rival this in every unit I’ve been in over the years.”
Consisting of eleven 4-man teams, this iteration of the Seahorse Challenge was the second of such events for 2011, with the first taking place in January.
Participating in the Seahorse Challenge were teams from all of the 19th’s units to include the Forward Support Company, 15th Engineer Company, 502nd Engineer Company 76th Engineer Company and 72nd Engineer Detachment. Teams participating in the event were the Pain Relievers, Dirty Sockets, Under Average Joes, Frago Smashers, Quest, Honey Badgers, Whipper Shcnappers, Cool Running’s, Hazbins, Discharges and Moosebreath.
Over the course of four grueling days, the teams participated in events that included an Army Physical Readiness Test, a river assault, land navigation, road marches and a confidence course.
Soldiers were tasked with completing these events all the while operating on very little sleep, minimum amounts of food and in extreme heat. Command Sgt. Maj. Walton admitted the heat was probably the biggest obstacle the teams had to overcome, with temperatures reaching the mid-nineties and the heat index well into the triple digits.
“This competition was physically and mentally draining,” said Spc. Tanner Jean, a food service specialist with the 19th Eng. Bn. “But I loved every second of this event. The team camaraderie you build throughout the event is amazing.”
Spc. Jean said that by far the most challenging event was the road march, which covered six miles, mostly uphill.
“Just when you thought you would get a change to go downhill, you turn a corner and here’s another climb uphill,” said Spc. Jean. “This event was definitely the most challenging for me.”
Overall, Command Sgt. Maj. Walton said that he felt the event went well. He said he was especially proud of the way the Soldiers conducted themselves during the Seahorse Challenge. And while every team did not finish the event, he felt everyone gave a positive effort.
“Overall, I feel this event was great. The teams participating were motivated and everyone involved gave 100%,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Walton.
Photos and story by Sgt. Michael Behlin, 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) public affairs.
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