Tropic Lightning Week honors Division’s 76th birthday

| October 5, 2017 | 0 Comments

The 25th Infantry Division Soldiers perform a ha’a koa during the Pass and Review portion of Tropic Lightning Week, Oct. 5. (Photo courtesy of 25th Infantry Division)

25th ID events build esprit de corps, morale

Maj. Karen Roxberry
2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — From Oct. 2-5, the 25th Infantry Division celebrated its 76th birthday with its annual Tropic Lightning Week – packed with its usual competitive sporting  and physical competitions with its battalions vying for the coveted Guadalcanal Cup.

TLW kicked off with a division run, where more than 12,000 Soldiers loudly called cadence and created a thunderous tune, which echoed throughout the Division’s birthplace and home, here, Schofield Barracks.

“The Army has a lot of legacy and traditions that are passed from one generation to the next, and Tropic Lightning Week is one of those events. It feels great to be a part of that legacy,” said Staff Sgt. Patrick Badders, 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 25th Division Artillery.

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, and 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment swing for the rafters during the softball tournament portion of Tropic Lightning Week 2017 on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Oct. 2. Tropic Lightning Week comprises of several physical challenges to build esprit de corps among the Division such as soccer, flag football, and combative tournaments. (U.S. Army photos by Sgt. David N. Beckstrom, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

TLW also provides an opportunity for Soldiers from different units within the Division to come together, including their family members and the local community to reflect on the unique history of the Division.

“This is the first year I have participated in Tropic Lightning Week, but I know that having events like this that let us come together, decompress and have some fun will make the Division and our units that much better,” said 1st Lt. Vincent Murphy, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. “I was able to network with some of the people from our maintenance company. This will help me maintain my equipment better and help my Soldiers be more effective on the battlefield.”

In addition to sporting and physical events, TLW also included specialized events, such as a truck rally and a motorcycle rodeo.

TLW culminated on the last day with a Division Pass and Review Ceremony, which was open to family members and the community. This ceremony allowed the command team to ensure their Soldiers are ready, fit and ready to fight, while instilling comradery and good order and discipline.

The ceremony opened with an anticipated high intensity performance of Ha‘a Koa, a traditional Hawaiian dance of the warrior by the 25th ID Ha‘a Team.

“As a member of the Division Ha‘a Koa Team, I have the opportunity to share my culture with my Army family and battle buddies. Plus, it’s simply a fun activity,” said Sgt. Kawika Fuga, assigned to 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Inf. Bde. Combat Team.

Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division compete with one another during a two-day Combatives championship October 2- 3, 2017 on Schofield Barracks, HI. The matches are part of the DivisionÕs 76th Annual Tropic Lightning Week, where the division celebrates itÕs rich heritage with competition and team building activities. (Photo by U. S. Army Staff Sgt. Nicole Hall)

“Being stationed in 25th Infantry Division has been awesome because I was born here in Hawaii, and the Division is rooted in Hawaiian culture,” Fuga added.

The 25th ID was formed on Oct. 1, 1941, at Schofield Barracks, and can trace its lineage to the Hawaiian Division, which defended Hawaii from 1921 to 1941.

Over the years, the units within the division have evolved, but the mission has always remained the same – to train Soldiers, so they are prepared and ready to answer the nation’s call.

Today, division conducts continuous persistent engagement with regional partners to prevent conflict across the Pacific.

Overall, the theme of togetherness resonated throughout the week with family members lining the roads during the division run and community leaders, families and veterans packing the stands at the Division Pass and Review Ceremony, sharing stories of the past with the future generations.

At the end of it all, 2-11th Field Artillery Regt. seized the Guadalcanal Cup, winning this coveted title for the third year in a row.

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