Gimlets give TLW its most challenging event

| October 17, 2015 | 0 Comments
A team of Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, move a mock medical casualty Oct. 5, on the Team Assault Course during Tropic Lightning Week. The TAC is a multi-event competition that’s tests a team of Soldier’s skill level tasks as well as their physical fitness. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

A team of Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, move a mock medical casualty Oct. 5, on the Team Assault Course during Tropic Lightning Week. The TAC is a multi-event competition that’s tests a team of Soldier’s skill level tasks as well as their physical fitness. (Photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Story and photos by
Sgt. Ian Ives
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — This year, Oct. 5-8, at the 25th Infantry Division’s birthday celebration known as Tropic Lightning Week, the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, “Gimlets,” 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th ID, ran the most challenging competition known as the Team Assault Course.

Of all the other competitions being held during TLW, the TAC is the only one that tests Soldiers on tasks that are conducive to the Army mission.

The TAC is a multi-event competition that involves a team of no less than five Soldiers, one being a female, to navigate the course, which is comprised of a medical lane; a chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear lane; a weapon systems lane; and a seven-mile ruck.

Staff Sgt. Eric Mankin (right), a native of Reno, Nev., and Larry McDaniel (left), a native of Carnegie, Pa., both infantrymen with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, drag a casualty out of the Shoot House Oct. 5, during the Team Assault Course. The Shoot House is a close quarters firing range that teams competing in the TAC must navigate and hit as many targets as possible. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Staff Sgt. Eric Mankin (right), a native of Reno, Nev., and Larry McDaniel (left), a native of Carnegie, Pa., both infantrymen with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, drag a casualty out of the Shoot House Oct. 5, during the Team Assault Course. The Shoot House is a close quarters firing range that teams competing in the TAC must navigate and hit as many targets as possible. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

The team also had to negotiate through the Shoot House, which is a close quarters firing course where Soldiers had to shoot specific targets and then properly remove them from the Shoot House. To conclude the event, once teams completed all other lanes they received a written test on the 25th ID’s history.

“The TAC was very physically challenging,” said 1st Lt. Milana Taylor. “I feel like I am in pretty good shape, but the course was pretty difficult.”

Taylor, a native of Selma, Alabama, and a Health Services administration officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-21st Inf., was the female Soldier on 1-21st’s TAC team. The other four Soldiers on her team were males from the Scout Platoon with HHC, 1-21st Inf., and are all Ranger qualified.

“My teammates helped to prepare me for the TAC,” said Taylor. “They went over weapons systems with me since I am not as familiar with them. They also helped make sure all of my gear was squared away like theirs in order to not lose points during the competition.”

Unlike many of the other events that Soldiers competed in during TLW, the TAC differed because it is not a sport.

During the Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear lane on the Team Assault Course Oct. 5, 1st Lt. Milana Taylor, a native of Selma Ala., and a health services administration officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, dons her gas mask. Taylor is the only female on 1-21 IR’s TAC team of five competing during Tropic Lightning Week. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

During the Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear lane on the Team Assault Course Oct. 5, 1st Lt. Milana Taylor, a native of Selma Ala., and a health services administration officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, dons her gas mask. Taylor is the only female on 1-21 IR’s TAC team of five competing during Tropic Lightning Week. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

1st Lt. Ian Biel, a native of Canfield, Ohio, and an infantry officer with Co. A, 1-21st Inf., was the officer in charge of creating the TAC and overseeing it while teams competed.

“It is different from the other events of TLW because it challenges the teams with skills and tasks from many different military occupational specialties versus just playing a competitive sport,” said Biel. “This was a good way to assess Soldiers’ physical abilities, as well as their skill level one tasks.”

The course may have been comprised of skill level one tasks; however, it was not for the faint of heart. To increase the difficultly of each lane, extra physical steps were added to complete each task. For example, on the grenade lane, before a team could throw a dummy grenade into the kill zone, it was required to sprint over 100 meters and then do 15 burpees.

Taylor, despite not being an infantryman and having to endure the amount of physical hardship that her fellow teammates normally do, greeted the challenges anxiously. Not only did she compete in the TAC, but also competed in the 10K race the following morning. She is constantly pushing herself to better herself as a Soldier and helping change the view of female Soldiers’ capabilities Armywide.

Staff Sgt. Eric Mankin (right), a native of Reno, Nev., and Larry McDaniel (left), a native of Carnegie, Pa., both infantrymen with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, call up a nine line medical evacuation Oct. 5, on the Team assault course for Tropic Lightning Week.  The TAC is a multi-event competition that’s tests a team of Soldier’s skill level tasks as well as their physical fitness.  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Staff Sgt. Eric Mankin (right), a native of Reno, Nev., and Larry McDaniel (left), a native of Carnegie, Pa., both infantrymen with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, call up a nine line medical evacuation Oct. 5, on the Team assault course for Tropic Lightning Week. The TAC is a multi-event competition that’s tests a team of Soldier’s skill level tasks as well as their physical fitness. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

“I had spoken to my commander about going to Ranger when I first got here,” said Taylor. “It is something that I have thought about doing quite often. It is very physically and mentally demanding, and I am always up for that kind of challenge. So, I may try to go in the future.”

With the success of this year’s TAC during TLW, the 25th ID can look forward to seeing more competitions such as this next year. Through competitions such as the TAC, Soldiers can not only compete against each other, but also take away valuable experience of working together as a team.

 

Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, evaluate a casualty on the medical lane of the Team Assault Course Oct. 5, during Tropic Lightning Week. The TAC is a multi-event competition that’s tests a team of Soldier’s skill level tasks as well as their physical fitness. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, evaluate a casualty on the medical lane of the Team Assault Course Oct. 5, during Tropic Lightning Week. The TAC is a multi-event competition that’s tests a team of Soldier’s skill level tasks as well as their physical fitness. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

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Category: News, Observances

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