By 1st Lt. Grant Taulbee, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment CommandJuly 31, 2012
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii-- Soldiers and Families of the 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, took time last week to focus on some good spirited team building competition and fun, here.
Each company in the brigade formed a team to try to climb to the top of the tournament brackets competing in volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, ultimate football, soccer, and tug-o-war.
The "Sappers In" brigade kicked off Engineer week with a 10-kilometer run and the "amazing race" which included buddy carries, plotting points on a map, carrying sand bags, assembling a radio, a quiz on basic Army knowledge, and more, leaving all competitors physically and mentally exhausted.
The games got heated and the scrapes and bruises increased as the stakes got higher; ultimately Col. Diana Holland, commander, 130th Eng. Bde, presented the Commander's Cup to 84th Engineer Battalion for winning the most games.
The competition for best company in the brigade resulted in a tie between the 561st Engineer Company and the 523rd Engineer Company, forcing a tie breaker; a four-man, 1-mile relay race for it all. The command teams of each company quickly chose their fastest, and the 561st Warriors took home the trophy, narrowly winning by 2 seconds.
Engineer week also hosted a combatives face-off between the 65th and the 84th Engineer Battalions, in which each battalion sent their top competitor in each weight class to determine who had the fiercest hand-to-hand fighters.
After the brutal competitions in the hot sun on Watts Field, Col. Holland led the brigade on a 3.2 mile motivational run and Engineer week culminated with the Pacific Engineer Regimental Ball at Hilton Hawaiin Village, Waikiki, on Friday.
Guest speaker Brig. Gen. Richard Stevens, commander, Pacific Ocean Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, spoke from the heart about the future of the Army and the Engineer corps.
"You're not as good as you can be," he said. "We are the best army on the face of this earth because we are not satisfied with being the best. We always want to be better. That's what you bring to our army, you make us better."
Stevens presented the Bronze de Flurry medal to 13 recipients in the brigade.
"The most important thing I can leave with you this evening is to say thank you, thank you for your service, thank you for your sacrifice, the nation is very, very proud of you, and rightfully so."
Stevens concluded his comments with a quote from the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno "The strength of our nation is our army, the strength of our army is our soldiers, the strength of our soldiers is our families, and that is what makes us army strong."