By By Pfc. Eric J. Martinez 13th Public Affairs DetachmentApril 17, 2008
Multi-National Corps Iraq's command sergeant major's personal security detachment held a competition to train and build morale within the unit.
The competition consisted of physical training, real world scenarios like towing a humvee hit by an improvised explosive device to safety, and ruck march and a litter carry.
Although the three-man team led by Sgt. Kenneth O'Dell beat the other teams by winning the 2-mile run, preventive maintenance checks and services HMMWV race and four and a half mile ruck march/litter carry, all of the teams were winners in the end.
"The ruck march was the hardest event, after two and a half miles we loaded our litter with three cases of water and carried it the last two, said Pfc. Chris Dollman, radio operator maintainer, MNC-I command sergeant major's PSD team, "my team was able to learn each other's strengths and cover down on each other's weaknesses, Sergeant O'Dell did an amazing job preparing us."
The competition was not about finding the best team, but about boosting morale and unit cohesion.
"The purpose of our unit's competition was to bring all of the Soldiers closer and ensure they know what they are doing," said Sgt. Joshua C. Hullum, cannon crewman, MNC-I command sergeant major's PSD Team.
"By coming together, everyone we conduct missions for will be able to see that if someone in our unit falls behind, we will all be there to cover down and finish the job," Dollman said.
The teams started training two weeks prior to the event and were left in the dark about the specific events.
"When we were training for the competition, it caused a lot of camaraderie between the teams, and in the end it brought us closer," said Dollman. "The competition was just a final exam."
"I've been on plenty of deployments, and four months in, morale always tends to waiver a little," said Hullum, "I just wanted to motivate the Soldiers and the competition helped the teams to have fun and boost each other up."