Story and photo by
1st Lt. Grant Taulbee
130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Soldiers and families of the 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, focused on team-building competitions and fun, here, July 23-27.
The “Sappers In” brigade kicked off Engineer Week with a 10-kilometer run and an “amazing race,” which included buddy carries, plotting points on a map, carrying sandbags, assembling a radio, a quiz on basic Army knowledge, and more, leaving all competitors physically and mentally exhausted.
Each company in the brigade formed a team to climb to the top of the tournament bracket, competing in volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, ultimate football, soccer and tug-of-war.
The games got heated, and the scrapes and bruises increased as the stakes got higher; ultimately, Col. Diana Holland, commander, 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, presented the Commander’s Cup to the 84th Eng. Battalion for winning the most games.
The competition for best company in the brigade resulted in a tie between the 561st Eng. Company and the 523rd Eng. Co., forcing a tiebreaker in the form of a four-man, one-mile relay race. The command teams of each company quickly chose their fastest, and the 561st “Warriors” took home the trophy, narrowly winning by two seconds.
Engineer Week also hosted a combatives face-off between the 65th and the 84th Eng. battalions, in which each battalion sent its top competitor from different weight classes to determine who had the fiercest hand-to-hand fighters.
After the brutal competitions in the hot sun on Watts Field, Holland led the brigade on a 3.2-mile motivational run.
Engineer Week culminated with the Pacific Engineer Regimental Ball at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, July 27.
Guest speaker Brig. Gen. Richard Stevens, commander, Pacific Ocean Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, discussed the future of the Army and the Engineer Corps.
“You’re not as good as you can be,” he said. “We are the best Army on the face of this earth because we are not satisfied with being the best. We always want to be better. That’s what you bring to our Army; you make us better.”
Stevens presented the Bronze de Fleury medal to 13 recipients in the brigade.
“The most important thing I can leave with you this evening is to say thank you — thank you for your service, thank you for your sacrifice. The nation is very, very proud of you, and rightfully so,” he said.
Stevens concluded his comments with a quote from Gen. Raymond Odierno, Army Chief of Staff, “The strength of our nation is our Army; the strength of our Army is our Soldiers; the strength of our Soldiers is our families. This is what makes us Army Strong.”