By Capt. Selina Tolonen, U.S. Army Adjutant General SchoolJune 6, 2012
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Teams of students with the Army Adjutant General Captains Career Course competed against each other during an event called "Warrior Challenge" on the morning of May 30 at Twin Lakes. The challenge not only tested the Soldiers' individual levels of physical fitness, agility, muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance, but also their ability to accomplish a mission together.
Three teams competed, each with six members. With the start signaled by a car horn, half of each team took off through the challenge's five obstacles in order of the canoe carry and paddle, litter and water jug carry, and run. Simultaneously, the other half began in the opposite direction. The goal for each team was to complete all the obstacles in the least amount of time, which took some strategizing.
"It's not necessarily advantageous to have all your fast people on one team and all your slow people on the other," said Capt. Alexander Landrum, member of the "Bravo Bulldogs." "You want to try to maximize the overall efficiency of your team and distribute the skills evenly across the two groups competing."
"We strategized by carrying the lightest person on the litter and evenly distributing the water jugs across the team so that not one member was overly exhausted by carrying the bulk of the load," said Capt. Mercedes Branch, member of "Team Awesome." "It actually seemed to be the little adjustments like these that ended up making the biggest difference in the end."
Completing the challenge in 14 minutes,15 seconds, Team Awesome finished first, followed closely by the Bravo Bulldogs with a time of 15:03. The third team, the "Charlie Commandos," finished in 20:48.
"It feels really good to be part of the winning team because it shows others in our class that with perseverance, doing the right thing all the time, and concentrating on the goal, you can really accomplish and achieve anything," Branch said.
"To be honest, we had a little trouble with the canoe paddle," said Capt. Christopher Montes, member of the Charlie Commandos. "We basically just kept going in circles and veering off course due to unbalanced paddler coordination. It set us back, but nevertheless, is quite a funny memory to take away."
As the 20-week academic course draws to an end, the Warrior Challenge served as one of several capstone events students completed before graduation.
"We spend most of our time in the course talking about the technical aspect and science of human resources, so this gave us an opportunity to do a little bit of esprit de corps and team building in a hysical environment," Landrum said.
"It wraps things up on a good note and was a good opportunity to come together and move forward toward the end as a team," Branch said.