FORT LEE, Va. (Feb. 23, 2012) -- Ordnance Soldiers from Bravo Company went above and beyond expectations recently when they participated in a company-wide competition celebrating Black History Month.

Each of the five platoons from the 16th Ordnance Battalion unit were asked to create a table display honoring black women who contributed through society, culture or the military, said Sgt. 1st Class Edward Green, Bravo Company equal opportunity NCO.

Green said he came up with the idea as an opportunity to offer a competition where the Soldiers could also learn about a heritage month celebration.

"We held a competition among the five platoons for the best display," said Green. "It ended up being much more than we thought it would be. We figured they would submit little displays, but it kept growing and growing.

"These Soldiers really put a lot of heart and time into the projects - they really learned a lot about the different women and what they contributed," he continued.

Capt. Brianna Maier, Bravo Company commander, said the judges - including the battalion commander, multiple company commanders, lieutenants within the company, first sergeants and the head platoon sergeant - were looking at the overall presentation, including the historical documents the Soldiers used, the creativity and the amount of information they put into it.

"I was very proud of them for putting this much effort into it," she said. "It was more than a competition to them - they actually learned something about the observance.

"They all enjoyed what they were doing, which is why we got so much information out of it," Maier continued. "We expected them to put some effort into it, but not as much as they did. They had a week and a half to compile the information, and Soldiers worked nights and through the weekend on the projects."

The 3rd Platoon earned first place and 5th Platoon earned second place.

"The 3rd platoon won because overall, it had an enormous amount of historical information about each of its subjects," said Maier. "They created separate posters for the women they honored and even made extensive history books about black history."

The 5th Platoon earned a close second, said Maier, noting that several of their portraits of historical figures were hand-drawn. Pfc. Shelandra Martin, of 5th Platoon, was the artist behind the artwork.

"Drawing is something I like to do, and I thought it would be nice to help out my platoon with the project," she said. "I enjoyed being part of the project. It gave me something to do and I learned more about black history."