The 554th Engineer Battalion has earned one of Fort Leonard Wood’s highest sports honors once again, claiming the overall Commander’s Cup Award for the fourth consecutive year.
Maj. Gen. Donna Martin, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, and MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood Command Sgt. Maj. James Breckinridge presented the Commander’s Cup Award for the 2018 fiscal year to Lt. Col. Christina Cook, 554th Engr. Bn. commander, and 554th Engr. Bn. Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond Ramirez during a special luncheon attended by the post’s senior leaders and NCOs Feb. 12 at Pershing Community Center.
“They’re all volunteers. This is another example of selfless service,” Cook said of her Soldiers, who participated in 14 of 17 Commander’s Cup tournaments and individual events held during the fiscal year.
“It’s amazing how they can balance work and home and still give back to the community by participating in these sports. I’m so proud of them. We wouldn’t be the battalion we are without them,” Cook said.
In both the Commander’s Cup and Intramural series, teams can earn up to 100 points for taking first place in a particular event or finishing a sports season in first place, respectively. Consistent participation is more important to winning the cumulative annual awards, since teams earn nearly as many points for a second-place finish (96 points) or third place finish (94 points), etc., and all teams that complete an event or season earn points toward their overall totals.
The 554th Engr. Bn. finished the 2018 Commander’s Cup points race with 1,290 points, just ahead of the 14th Military Police Brigade, which took second place for the second consecutive year with 1,188 points.
“One thing that impressed me was that the difference between first and second place was only 102 points,” Martin said shortly before making the presentation.
In addition to its high level of participation, the 554th Engr. Bn. had plenty of success on the field during the 2018 season, taking first place in flag football, volleyball, the 10K fun run, golf and disc golf, and second place in racquetball and the post’s annual swim meet.
Fort Leonard Wood Chief of Sports Coleman Swinton also congratulated the 554th Engr. Bn. for their victories and participation.
“It’s not only a great feat, but they showed a great deal of sportsmanship throughout (the series), and I really appreciate that,” Swinton said.
Ramirez expressed his appreciation for all 554th Engr. Bn. Soldiers who participated in Commander’s Cup events.
“I’m extremely proud of the organization and how they put together the teams, go out there every evening and continually win day in and day out,” he said.
“They’re doing a great job, and were very proud of them,” he added.