Engineers test warrior skills during ‘Never Daunted’ Top Squad

| March 31, 2017 | 0 Comments

 

 

Sgt. Shannon Leftwich, Sgt. todd Kelly and Sgt. Dylon Dibble, 95th Eng. Co. (Sapper), 84th Eng. Bn., flip a 400-pound heavy Expanded mobility tactical truck tire (hEmtt) during the “never Daunted” Best Squad Competition. (Photo by 1St Lt. John D. Howard Jr., 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

Sgt. Shannon Leftwich, Sgt. todd Kelly and Sgt. Dylon Dibble, 95th Eng. Co. (Sapper), 84th Eng. Bn., flip a 400-pound heavy Expanded mobility tactical truck tire (hEmtt) during the “never Daunted” Best Squad Competition. (Photo by 1St Lt. John D. Howard Jr., 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

A 95th Eng. squad takes honors

Story and photos by
1st Lt. John D. Howard Jr.
84th Engineer Battalion
130th Eng. Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Persevering through four days of intense physical and mental challenges, 20 squads from the 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, competed in the 2017 “Never Daunted” Best Squad Competition, March 13-16, here.

Each phase of the competition was crafted to evaluate the warrior tasks and battle drills essential to individual and unit readiness. The events also served to build unit cohesion and comradery during challenging scenarios.

Sgt. Jordan Seui, a heavy equipment operator with 561st Eng. Construction Co., 84th Eng. Bn., slides his way through the belly crawl portion of the obstacle course during the “never Daunted” Best Squad Competition, March 15. (Photo by 1st Lt. John D. Howard Jr., 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

Sgt. Jordan Seui, a heavy equipment operator with 561st Eng. Construction Co., 84th Eng. Bn., slides his way through the belly crawl portion of the obstacle course during the “never Daunted” Best Squad Competition, March 15. (Photo by 1st Lt. John D. Howard Jr., 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

“Best squad was a great experience for building comradery within the squad while being pushed and pressured to our limits,” said Spc. Matthew Felker, a combat engineer with 95th Eng. Company (Sapper).

Felker went on to say that the competition is a rewarding culmination of events that displayed everything that he has trained on over the past several months.

The competition tested each squad’s mental and physical determination through situations such as stress shooting, urban orienteering and tactical evaluation scenarios.

Throughout the competition, each squad completed various events at different stations for a recorded time and score.

On Day 1, squads completed a timed urban orienteering course and a live-fire stress shoot. The first portion of the shoot consisted of a combat-oriented CrossFit station where Soldiers flipped an enormous 400-pound Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck tire (HEMTT), carried jugs of water, and carried a 200-pound litter while wearing full body armor.

Pvt. Bryan Flores and Spc. Nicholas Doyle, heavy equipment operators with the 561st Engineer Construction Company, 84th Engineer Battalion, scan for potential threats from their recently constructed two-man fighting position during the "Never Daunted" Best Squad Competition, March 15.(Photo by 1st Lt. John D. Howard Jr., 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

Pvt. Bryan Flores and Spc. Nicholas Doyle, heavy equipment operators with the 561st Engineer Construction Company, 84th Engineer Battalion, scan for potential threats from their recently constructed two-man fighting position during the “Never Daunted” Best Squad Competition, March 15.(Photo by 1st Lt. John D. Howard Jr., 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

Immediately following those challenges, Soldiers engaged targets from the standing and kneeling position within 60 seconds to round out their final event score.

On the following three days, Soldiers completed five tactical evaluation lanes and a timed obstacle course. During the tactical assessment, squads were graded on key warrior tasks and battle drills, including reaction to an improvised explosive device (IED), treating a casualty, reconnaissance, and constructing individual fighting positions.

Next, the squads executed a 1.5 mile ruck-run uphill to an obstacle course. Soldiers were tested on their physical strength and endurance as they accomplished 10 obstacle stations as a squad.

Pfc. Tyler Lee, a combat engineer with 95th Eng. Co. (Sapper), 84th Eng. Bn., scans for potential threats during the react to improvised Explosive Device (IED) tactical evaluation lane of the “Never Daunted” Best Squad Competition, March 13. (Photo by 1st Lt. John D. Howard Jr., 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

Pfc. Tyler Lee, a combat engineer with 95th Eng. Co. (Sapper), 84th Eng. Bn., scans for potential threats during the react to improvised Explosive Device (IED) tactical evaluation lane of the “Never Daunted” Best Squad Competition, March 13. (Photo by 1st Lt. John D. Howard Jr., 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

“The confidence obstacle course tested our personal courage and physical resilience. My favorite parts were the ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ and the ‘Weaver’ (obstacles),” said Spc. Anthony Lehman, a heavy equipment operator with 561st Eng. Construction Co.

Whether carrying water jugs or road marching from one event to another, each squad built upon its teamwork and created strong relationships with each other through shared experiences and healthy competition.

“The Best Squad Competition builds confidence within the squads and their Soldiers,” said Sgt. Alisha Semple, a human resource specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Co. “It allows a team to become more cohesive while reacting to situations under pressure and making on-the-spot decisions.”

On March 21, the top three squads in the 84th Eng. Bn. received special recognition from the battalion command team, but the top squad was 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, 95th Eng. Co. (Sapper), led by Staff Sgt. Donald Parker.

Each member of the winning squad was awarded the Army Achievement Medal for his outstanding performance.

“I am proud of the outstanding performance by the NCOs and Soldiers of the ‘Never Daunted’ team. Their professionalism and dedication are key to our success,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Sergio Ortega, 84th Eng. Bn. command sergeant major.

(Editor’s note: Howard Jr. is the unit public affairs representative for 8th Eng. Bn.)

Top Squad: 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, 95th Eng. Co. (Sapper)

Leader: Staff Sgt. Donald Parker

Squad Members
Pvt. Kenneth Bottom
Pvt. Gregory Castaneda
Spc. Charles Dalley
Spc. Matthew Felker
Pfc. Joseph Grabenhofer
Sgt. Jacob Miller
Pvt. Allen Rodriguez
Spc. Yosbel Vicet
Sgt. Matthew Whisler

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Category: Leadership, News

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