Testing the team: Team-building obstacles put MI to the test

| July 16, 2010 | 3 Comments

Story and Photos by
1st Lt. Julianne Barcia
500th Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs

1st Sgt. Kevin Peyatt climbs up a steep ravine as Cpl. Brandon Shanks prepares to follow.SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — A steady rain did not hamper the Soldiers in Company A, 715th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th MI Brigade, as they completed obstacle course training, here, July 1. 

If anything, the weather made the course conditions more challenging and muddy, pushing the MI Soldiers to work together as a team.

“The intent of today’s event is to build esprit de corps and enhance physical fitness,” said Capt. Manoj Puthenparampil, commander, Co. A, 715th MI Bn., 500th MI Bde.

During the pre-course briefing, 1st Sgt. Kevin Peyatt, Co. A, reminded Soldiers that it wasn’t about how fast they got through the obstacle course, but how they worked together as a team.

The Soldiers did just that, not proceeding to the next obstacle until all members of their team had made it over, up, through or down each point on the course, successfully and safely. 

“We decided that everyone, including our Soldiers on profile, would participate and attempt all obstacles to the best of their ability or within the limits of their profile,” said Staff Sgt. Jesse Porter, the company’s training noncommissioned officer. “Team-building and esprit de corps were our main focus point for this physical training event, and the way to accomplish this was to have everyone participate.” 

The “weaver,” the over/under obstacle, was the most challenging event of the day.

Soldiers work together to keep a tire upright. Co. A, 715th MI Bn., 500th MI Bde. Soldiers are primarily signal intelligence analysts who work rotating shifts on a 24-hour cycle. “The weaver takes the most coordination on the course, and it proves to be even more challenging for our shorter Soldiers,” Porter said. “Upper body, lower body and coordination all play a factor into completing this obstacle, so it was great to see that all Soldiers completed this task.”  

The company is primarily made up of signal intelligence analysts who work rotating shifts on a 24-hour cycle. 

“These specialized Soldiers are given the opportunity to conduct Army training twice a month, so getting them out on the course together was a great way to strengthen camaraderie,” Puthenparampil said. “When the Soldiers have to depend on one another to safely and successfully complete each obstacle, it brings out the best in each of them, develops leaders and challenges what they think they can do.” 

Lt. Col. David Perrine, commander, 715th MI Bn., and Command Sgt. Maj. Dayron Vargas completed the course shoulder-to-shoulder with their Soldiers, which proved to be a motivating force for the company.

“It is always a good thing to see your senior leadership conduct a physical training session with the Soldiers, whether it’s conducting a formation run around base or completing an obstacle course in the rain,” Porter said. “It helps to build pride in the company and the battalion when you see your leadership out there, on the course, motivating Soldiers to complete each task.” 

Category: Community, Training

Comments (3)

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  1. Claysong Harris says:

    When I was in the Army, I remember going through this course but I can’t remember all of the obstacles. Can you please tell me what they were and possibly pictures? Or if you could send me a link to that particularly covers that. I would really appreciate it. Thanks, this was a great article, it brought up a lot of memories. Thanks.

    • haw says:


      That writer is no longer with 500th MI, but I’m checking with 500th MI public affairs office to see if we can get the answers. Thanks for your interest in the article and please be patient with us.


      • Manoj says:

        I was the company commander when we did that obstacle course. It is located behind the MPs along KoleKole drive at Schofiled Barracks. I do not remember specific obstacles but I remember climbing ropes when we finished. Obstacle course was a part of our daily PT and we jogged down to the obstacle course from A-Quad, sign cadence and etc… As for the picture, we have completed the course and I had instructed my Soldiers to flip the tire… but they opted to roll it down. I let it slide becasue everyone put 100% to getting throgh the course. It was a fun event.

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