By Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Ruth PagánOctober 31, 2012
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Annual recertification can be a tedious and unexciting requirement that Soldiers must do, but the Fire Support Teams of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division decided to breathe life into the recertification process by making it a competition for "Best FIST."
The recertification competition, held Oct. 15 thru 18, required Soldiers to perform a physical fitness test, a fire support written test, a communication skills test, land navigation, FIST certifications, call for fires test and 12-mile ruck march in three hours or less.
"This is a good way for all the battalions to get together and see what their fisters are really made of," said Spc. Steven Cash, fire support specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 2nd BCT, 4th Inf. Div. "The training is important, but the competition part is motivation to not just pass, but to get as high a score as possible."
The Soldiers were graded individually as well as in teams of three to five.
"It's been a good team bonding experience," said Spc. Levi Shiverdecker, fire support specialist, Troop A, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment. "Most of the events are team events, so it's either you help each other out or you fail."
The brigade has restructured since returning from deployment, this is one of the first times teams worked together, said Lt. Col. Keith Jarolimek, commander of 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd BCT, 4th Inf. Div.
"No matter what this training is, it's going to make the team tighter and this training is going to be invaluable in supporting the brigade," said Capt. Mark Quint, fire support officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Bn., 8th Inf. Reg.
The certification competition not only tested Soldiers, it showed them their capabilities.
"It's good to get all the fisters in the brigade together for a friendly competition," said Staff Sgt. Ricky Plant, targeting noncommissioned officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment. "Once you get all the tasks accomplished, you feel more confident in your strength and abilities."
After compiling all the scores, a ceremony was held Oct. 26 for winners at Fort Carson's Veterans Chapel. The winning team from Troop C, 1st Sqdn., 10th Cav. Reg., consisted of 1st Lt. Derik Munoz, Staff. Sgt. James Spencer, who won individual NCO top score, Spc. Phillip Kiy, who earned the individual enlisted top score and Spc. Louie Scott. The team won a trophy, guidon and bragging rights.