Army athletes win spirited Pro Bowl Military Challenge

| February 5, 2016 | 0 Comments
The U.S. Army 2016 Pro Bowl Military Challenge team cheers as they accept their trophy after winning the 2016 Military Challenge at Queen’s Beach, Jan. 29. (Photo by Sgt. Daniel K. Johnson, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade)

The U.S. Army 2016 Pro Bowl Military Challenge team cheers as they accept their trophy after winning the 2016 Military Challenge at Queen’s Beach, Jan. 29. (Photo by Sgt. Daniel K. Johnson, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade)

Enthusiastic Soldiers lift trophy in front of hundreds of Waikiki beach spectators

Sgt. Daniel K. Johnson
25th Combat Aviation Brigade
Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division
WAIKIKI — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines gathered on Queen’s Beach in Waikiki, Jan. 29, to compete in the NFL Pro Bowl Military Challenge.

The Army walked away with the coveted trophy, beating the other competing branches.

Sgt. Marcus Sheppard (top left, center) easily catches a football during the 2016 Pro Bowl Military Challenge at Queen's Beach in Waikiki, Jan. 29. Sheppard, an infantryman assigned to 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, won the Fair Catch event for Team Army Soldiers from the 25th ID and 8th Theater Sustainment Command who combined to claim victory and the trophy this year (Photos by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division) .

Sgt. Marcus Sheppard (top left, center) easily catches a football during the 2016 Pro Bowl Military Challenge at Queen’s Beach in Waikiki, Jan. 29. Sheppard, an infantryman assigned to 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, won the Fair Catch event for Team Army Soldiers from the 25th ID and 8th Theater Sustainment Command. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division) .

Each branch selected a team to represent them in the challenge. Multiple competitions were held, including sprints, a volleyball tournament and various football drills.

“It was a great opportunity for the team to come together and really represent the Army and the 25th Infantry Division,” said 1st Lt. Gray Slother, a competitor representing 25th Combat Aviation Brigade.
Hundreds of spectators watched the events on the beach of Waikiki. The NFL and USAA partnered to provide DJs, concessions and the NFL cheerleaders.

“I didn’t think I would be doing something like this when I joined the Army,” said Spc. Marco Salas, a competitor representing the 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command. “I didn’t think I was going to get picked, but I did.”

(Photos by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

(Photos by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

The team only had a short time to prepare for the challenge. Each unit conducted its own tryouts and then sent their selections to the Army team for a final cut.

“Each brigade held competitions to select the team, and we practiced for about a week for this challenge,” said Slother.

“I’m blown away. I’m in shock with the athleticism of the Soldiers we pulled out of this division to compete,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Caruso, captain of the U.S. Army Team. “We met on Monday and we won on Friday.”

The competition wrapped up with the awarding of the Pro Bowl Military Challenge Trophy to the U.S. Army team along with some parting gifts of footballs and memorabilia. The teams also had the chance to pose for pictures with the NFL cheerleaders.

The Pro Bowl Military Challenge was part of the fanfare leading up to the 2016 NFL Pro Bowl that was held the following Sunday, Jan. 31.

(Photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

(Photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

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