Story and photos by Stephen Standifird
Public Affairs Office
Two Basic Combat Training infantry battalions on Fort Leonard Wood celebrated their regimental week March 4 through 8 that culminated with a little friendly competition.
Four teams representing 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment and 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, competed in four events designed to bring together aspects of maneuver support.
“We wanted to showcase what is at Fort Leonard Wood and MSCoE,” said Lt. Col. William Earl, 3-10th Inf. Bn. commander. “Many don’t have a good appreciation of what an MP does, what an engineer does. When they go back to the operational force, they have an appreciation of what is at their left and right.”
The day began in the early morning hours on the battle rig, an obstacle course designed to resemble the ones on television. From there, teams conducted weapons familiarization and sent rounds down range with a 12-gage shotgun and .22 pistol. Teams were then led to a Military Police training area, where they were introduced to their next challenge.
Teams put on the protective suit and earned points for how long they stayed on their feet with one of the Military Working Dogs in pursuit. By far, this was the most enjoyed activity of the day for the majority of the competitors.
“If you’ve never been attacked by a dog in a safe environment, it’s a lot of fun,” said 2nd Lt. Mason Reed, 2nd Bn., 10th Inf. Reg. Team 1.
Capt. James Gonzalez, 3rd Bn., 10th Inf. Reg. Team 1, agreed.
“Working with the military police K9 unit was great because it gave everybody that fear,” he said. “We all did the event, then laughed with each other. It was textbook definition of building teams.”
The competition ended with casualty extraction from a chemically corrupted environment. Teams donned full protective gear and crawled through tunnels at the Terry Facility to find two simulated casualties then move them to safety.
In the end, it was the 3-10th Inf. Bn., Team 2 that was victorious. The four-man team all agreed that it was an excellent competition.
“Collectively brought two battalions together to learn from one another and ultimately learn about different areas of the three different branches that are at Fort Leonard Wood,” said 1st Sgt. Michael Gossman. “It was a great opportunity to meet other people within the regiment to come together to compete and build those bonds.”
The competition aspect faded into the background for many of the competitors as camaraderie and having fun became the focus. The second place team, 2-10th Inf. Bn. Team 1, reflected more on their enjoyment of the day’s events than anything else, with each team member specifically highlighting a different event as their favorite.
“The esprit de corps was definitely there,” said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Crabtree, who enjoyed the chemical event most given his background as a chemical Soldier.
After the trophy was presented to the winning team, Earl looked out among the competitors with a smile on his face. “At the end of the day, it’s a good healthy competition that is building relationships. That’s money in the bank every time.”