77th Engineers compete in ‘Best Outlaw Challenge’ Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 August 2014
Story by 1st Lt. Vance Lewis
Special to GUIDON

Soldiers with the 77th Engineer Company, 94th Engineer Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, were tested on their physical and mental toughness during the unit’s Best Outlaw Challenge.

More than 80 enlisted and officer “Outlaws” competed during the challenge, held recently at Fort Leonard Wood.
Spc. Nicholas Barker works on emplacing and concealing a claymore mine during the 77th Engineer Company’s Best Outlaw Challenge held recently at Fort Leonard Wood. Photo by Capt. Alex Duffy

Spc. Nicholas Lombardo earned the prestigious title of “Best Outlaw,” closely followed by Sgt. Jared Medina. Lombardo’s title came after earning the highest score in a series of graded events throughout the week.

The competition started with the Army Physical Fitness Test, followed by a 100-question written exam and maintenance challenge. The following days included more testing in combat life saving and various basic Soldier tasks. Additionally, Soldiers completed a land navigation course, combat water survival training, a physical endurance course and a marksmanship competition at the Engagement Skills Trainer.  

“This competition was designed to test Soldiers on the basics, both physically and mentally,” said Capt. Alex Duffy, commander, 77th Eng. Co. “A major focus was the ‘total Soldier concept’; Soldiers have to be both strong and smart.”

The challenge was something the 77th Eng. Co.  Soldiers also appreciated.

 “I really enjoyed the competitive nature of this week,” added Spc. Seth Harvey. “This week  provided great training and a good refresher on tasks we already know.”

The competition culminated with a timed 12-mile foot march carrying a 40 lb. load.  The fastest Soldiers arrived to the finish point in less than two and a half hours.  

“It was an exhausting week, but I feel great and am very proud of myself,” said Spc. Zachary Daniel.

The Best Outlaw competition remained close during the entire week with no clear leader until the end.  

With an impressive come-from-behind victory, Lombardo edged out the competition by dominating the final event.  

“I just let God take care of it,” Lombardo said. “I pushed through every event not trying to win, but to demonstrate the high standards of training my leadership expected.”

Although the “Best Outlaw” title could only be bestowed upon one Soldier, everyone that participated benefitted.

“I’m extremely impressed with all of the Outlaw Soldiers,” Duffy said. “Regardless of scores, everyone walked away as a winner this week. Great training and tough physical exercise is a reward of its own.”

(Editor’s note: Lewis is the executive officer for 77th Engineer Company.)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 August 2014 )