25th ID celebrates 72nd birthday with Tropic Lightning Week

| October 11, 2013 | 0 Comments
At the final event of Tropic Lightning Week, Soldiers with 2nd Bn., 35th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT, compete in the tug of war competition on Weyand Field,  Oct. 3. TLW is an annual event spanning three days and provides a friendly competition to help foster esprit de corps. (Photo by Sgt. Ariana Cary, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

At the final event of Tropic Lightning Week, Soldiers with 2nd Bn., 35th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT, compete in the tug of war competition on Weyand Field, Oct. 3. TLW is an annual event spanning three days and provides a friendly competition to help foster esprit de corps. (Photo by Sgt. Ariana Cary, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

Sgt. Matthew Ryan
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Thousands of Soldiers called cadence while running down Trimble Road to kick off this year’s Tropic Lightning Week.

Shouts of “Tropic Lightning!” were heard as Soldiers crossed the final stretch of the massed 3-mile run.

The division celebrated its 72nd birthday, Oct. 1-3, by hosting events and competitions, here, at Wheeler Army Airfield and at Hickam Air Force Base. The week concluded with a birthday celebration and an awards presentation on Weyand Field, here.

“Tropic Lightning Week offered something for everybody, to include CrossFit to the max, combatives, and, of course, sports,” said Sgt. Maj. Jonathan Napier, network operations senior enlisted leader, Signal Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 25th ID. “This is a great way of getting Soldiers out of their normal routines and working with other Soldiers from different brigades and different MOSs (military occupational skills).”

The teams earned points for the top three placers for an overall award, and all events had female and male winners.

One of the more grueling events was the combat fitness challenge, consisting of an obstacle course, a one-rope bridge, a Humvee push-pull stage and medical skills test, all while conducting a 12-mile-plus road march with a 35-pound rucksack.

“It was challenging to deal with the heat, and rucking more than 12 miles and completing all those obstacles and tasks,” said Pvt. Curtis Pattison, line medic, HHC, 2nd Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

Pattison’s team finished the event in less than five hours.

“Even though it was hard, it was a great team-building experience,” said Pattison.

Family and friends in attendance rooted for their Soldiers and units.

“This was fun, and to have my wife come out and cheer me on was great,” said Spc. Antonio Battle, logistic specialist, HHC, 3rd Bde. Special Troops Bn., 3rd BCT, adding that he is really looking forward to doing this event again next year and attending more events.

The final event of Tropic Lightning Week was the legendary tug of war held before the main stage, where the 25th ID command team, Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller and Command Sgt. Maj. Benjamin Jones watched the battalions battle for a winning spot.

After all events were completed, the command team congratulated the first place winners before they were awarded a division certificate of achievement in front of the entire division.

The Guadalcanal Cup was awarded to 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., 2nd Stryker BCT, for the highest points earned from all the team events.

Following the awards ceremony and closing remarks, Soldiers spent time with families and friends, ate lunch and checked out the military equipment static displays on Weyand Field.

“We really enjoyed being able to attend all the events and see some of the equipment my husband might use,” said Kay Love, spouse of Sgt. Jarvis Love, team leader, 2nd Bn., 14th Cavalry Regt., 2nd SBCT.

Kay said that all the events were very well organized and hopes to see more events next year.

Due to overseas contingency operations, it has been almost 10 years since all brigades were able to attend Tropic Lightning Week, making this year a great success in participation from the entire division.

Games of TLW

Soldiers competed in individual events of combatives: boxing, a 5-mile race, a10-mile race and the Lightning Elite Heptathlon, a combination of seven track and field events. Soldiers also participated as battalion teams: volleyball, soccer, ultimate Frisbee, tug of war, basketball, marksmanship events, a Makahiki challenge and a combat fitness course.

Makahiki is a Hawaiian tradition of the New Year festival in honor of the god Lono. During the celebration phase, events of boxing, wrestling, javelin marksmanship, swimming and canoe races are displayed through the Hawaiian Islands to demonstrate tribal strength.

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Category: News, Observances

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