2-14th cavalry troops prepare, train for brigade-level ‘Best Squad’ competition in Iraq

| March 31, 2011 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Terry Gilmore and Staff Sgt. Joel Hamilton, both cavalry scouts,Troop A, 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID, engage targets during the live-fire portion of the unit’s "Best Squad" competition. (Courtesy Photo)

Staff Sgt. Terry Gilmore and Staff Sgt. Joel Hamilton, both cavalry scouts,Troop A, 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID, engage targets during the live-fire portion of the unit’s “Best Squad” competition. (Courtesy Photo)

1st Lt. Kyle Miller
U.S. Division-North Public Affairs

Competition breeds excellence and pride 

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE COBRA, Iraq — Staff Sgt. Terry Gilmore, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, loaded a magazine into his M4 carbine, signaled the rest of his section and began firing.
Organizing through the clamor of battle, Gilmore coordinated the actions of his team, as they advanced upon the objective.
“Cease fire, lock and clear,” the range safety shouted.
At the end of the live-fire exercise, the squad members anxiously turned their gazes toward their targets, eager to hear the score.
The 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd BCT, hosted a three-day, “Best Squad” competition, here, recently, to demonstrate warrior skills and build esprit de corps in preparation for the brigade-level event scheduled this month.
The four participating teams began with Army physical fitness, weapons proficiency, first aid and land navigation tests. Other events included vehicle identification, unit history, reflexive fire and, finally, a squad live-fire exercise.
Soldiers in “Comanche,” Troop C, 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd BCT, narrowly defeated Soldiers in “Bounty Hunter,” Troop B, 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd BCT, by 10 points, winning the title of Best Squad, here.
Even before planning for the competition, squads trained extensively, as part of their daily routine to maintain focus on their mission and combat readiness.
“Ever since day one in Iraq, we’ve kept very busy with training,” explained Staff Sgt. Christopher Mason, cavalry scout and squad leader, Troop C, 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd BCT. “When the squad competition came up, I thought it would be a good motivator for my Soldiers … (to) prove to them that all the work they put in will pay off.”
Existing rivalries between individuals helped drive the already strong tradition of excellence and pride that is instilled in Soldiers well before the competition. When the opportunity for a squadron-wide competition appeared, Soldiers were excited to prove their skills as a team.
“We put into effect what we learned because all we do is train,” said Spc. Zachary Kumler, cavalry scout, Troop C, 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd BCT. “We go back to our rooms; we train. We go to the checkpoint; we train. And we study for the board.”
Kumler said Soldiers viewed the competition as an opportunity to prove their skills are sharp and their training is relevant, while others, who did not directly participate, were proud to have contributed to their squad’s success.
“The competition reminds me of the early 1990 U.S. Army-Europe Cavalry Cup competitions and the great team-building that these competitors instilled in, not only the platoon, but with all the competitors,” said Sgt. Maj. Edward Dunn, squadron operations sergeant major, 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd BCT. “Mason reminds me of my own mentor. (He is) always ready with materials for hip pocket training. There is always room for improvement, and you do (improve) by realistic training, everyday.”

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Category: Deployed Forces, Exercises, News

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