Gimlet Challenge honors tradition, esprit de corps

| June 7, 2013 | 0 Comments
gt. Daniel Aguiniga (front right), team leader, Company C, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, leads his team on a hard charge up the menacing hill on their way to Firing Point 101 to conduct their react-to-contact lane during the Gimlet Challenge, here, May 29. (Photo by 1st Lt. Daniel North, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment Public Affairs, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division)

Sgt. Daniel Aguiniga (front right), team leader, Company C, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, leads his team on a hard charge up the menacing hill on their way to Firing Point 101 to conduct their react-to-contact lane during the Gimlet Challenge, here, May 29. (Photo by 1st Lt. Daniel North, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment Public Affairs, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division)

1st Lt. Daniel North
1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team
25th Infantry Division

“History is a cyclic poem, written by time, upon the memories of man.”

That passage, paraphrased from an 1821 essay by the great poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, proved ever so true as the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, “Gimlets,” 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, conducted a grueling “Gimlet Challenge,” May 29.

The event centered around recalling the history of the Gimlet and what it means to each individual who completed the course before being inducted into the Royal Gimlet Clan.

Soldiers completed a punishing 15-mile course that tested tactical and technical knowledge, with events such as react to contact and buddy aid lanes.

“Before Soldiers step onto any lane, they are read a brief history of a fallen Gimlet, and asked to remember the sacrifice and traditions that every Gimlet is bound by,” said Capt. Jacob

Baker, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company. “This gives Soldiers a boost of determination, knowing they have high standards to live up to as did their predecessors.

“Team leaders need to have their game faces on coming into these events,” Baker added. “Guiding their Soldiers and providing that necessary push to get through each event successfully is essential and gives them a chance to prove their leadership abilities.”

Soldiers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, react to contact using sim-rounds and engage an enemy target during one of the tasks of the “Gimlet Challenge,” held here, May 29. (Photo by Sgt. Matthew Ryan, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

Soldiers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, react to contact using sim-rounds and engage an enemy target during one of the tasks of the “Gimlet Challenge,” held here, May 29. (Photo by Sgt. Matthew Ryan, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

At the end of the course, Soldiers were asked to answer questions about the Gimlet Clan history to determine if they would move on to the finish line.

“Having the chance to look over the names of Soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice isn’t just about remembering what they gave; it’s about the lineage they leave behind,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Lowery, battalion senior enlisted leader. “Our history is what defines us and makes us a ‘standout’ battalion.

“You can take a hard look at where you have been to figure out where you need to be going,” Lowery continued. “That’s what this event is about: teamwork, pride, esprit de corps and remembrance.”

Soldiers who completed the event were able to stand tall during the induction ceremony, May 30. They were inducted into the Royal Gimlet Clan through the toasting of the grog in front of their friends, family and fellow Gimlets.

“I knew I wanted to participate in the event, not only to earn my Gimlet stick and show my unit pride, but also to test myself and see if I had what it takes to complete it,” said Spc. Billy Weisberg, battalion fire support element. “I didn’t expect to have a sense of gratification afterwards and feel like I was actually a member of an organization that has been honored for so long. I will gladly announce I am part of the Royal Gimlet Clan and am fortunate to have been able to compete in the event.”

(Editor’s note: North is the 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., fire support officer and unit public affairs representative.)

Soldiers assigned to the 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt, 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, carry a simulated casualty after performing first aid on the casualty as part of the “Gimlet Challenge,” May 29. (Photo by Sgt. Matthew Ryan, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

Soldiers assigned to the 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt, 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, carry a simulated casualty after performing first aid on the casualty as part of the “Gimlet Challenge,” May 29. (Photo by Sgt. Matthew Ryan, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

What’s a Gimlet?

In 1921, Soldiers of Company E, 21st Infantry Regiment, organized a club for supporting regimental athletic teams. They called themselves the Gimlet Club of Royal Rooters and adopted the motto “Bore Brother Bore!”

The ancient gimlet, a small tool for boring holes, became the iconic symbol of toughness for the club, thus the regimental nickname, Gimlet.

“It’s a connection, instilling what we stand for, and our brothers past have stood for to get us where we are today,” said Lt. Col. James Tuite, commander, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt. “This event gives Soldiers more than just a sense of completing an obstacle or receiving a certificate. It’s about the pride and dignity of wearing a piece of history and showing everyone who passes by that you are a Gimlet, and proud of the unit you are happy to serve.”

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