Story and photos by Stephen Standifird
Public Affairs Office
More than 50 competitors on 11 teams competed to be named Phoenix Forge champions Oct. 24.
Events, spread out across Fort Leonard Wood included carrying a simulated casualty through the Night Infiltration Course, conducting part of the Army Combat Fitness Test, marksmanship in the Engagement Skills Trainer and marching nearly 15 miles from starting point to completion with full gear.
Phoenix Forge has been a part of 3rd Chemical Brigade for a number of years as a way to offer a fun, competitive challenge to build teamwork among Soldiers in the brigade, said Maj. Nick Bell, operations officer for 3rd Chemical Brigade.
Because teams were put together at random to ensure parity across the competition, Bell said, there is a good chance teammates didn’t know each other as well as they would have had they picked their own teams.
The winning field-grade team was Lt. Col. Will Earl and Command Sgt.Maj. Jason Duncan of 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment; Maj. LeRhonda Washington and Command Sgt. Maj. Darrell Smith of 2nd Bn., 48th Inf. Reg. and Maj. Norven Charles of 1st Bn., 48th Inf. Reg.
The winning company-grade team was Capt. Jesus Cruz and 1st Sgt. Haven Crecelius of 2nd Bn., 48th Inf. Reg.; 1st Lt. Anthony Needler of 1st Bn., 48th Inf. Reg.; 1st Lt. Andrew Friesen of 58th Transportation Bn.; Sgt. 1st Class Brett Oldenburger of 2nd Bn., 10th Inf. Reg.; Sgt. 1st Class Romeo Fang of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Chem. Bde. and Sgt. Christopher Sanchez of 84th Chemical Bn.
Cruz, who served as team captain, said his favorite part was that they came together as a team to build a plan that helped them win.
“Even though we did not know each other before starting this competition, we were able to come together and win this competition while having fun,” he said.
Col. Dale Crockett, 3rd Chem. Bde. commander, congratulated all the teams for completing the “rigorous” event and emphasized the growth of the 3rd Chem. team through competition.
Crockett added that he hopes Phoenix Forge will continue to grow as a brigade team-building event for many more years to come.