With the weather cooling down this week, the 23rd Quartermaster Brigade turned up the heat with its Honor Company Competition.
Three companies represented each of the three battalions under the 23rd QM Bde. The 266th Quartermaster Battalion was represented by the Company T; while Co. A represented the 262nd QM Bn.
The rivalry was fierce and everyone involved gave everything they had and then some. One point was the difference between first and second place with the title Honor Company of the 23rd QM Bde. going to the potent Alpha Gators of Co. A.
Not to be outdone, the “Ride or Die” Raiders of Co. R made it a real competition with only 38 points separating all three competitors.
The event coordinators made it extremely challenging with six grueling events. Each event would be tasked to a single squad from each company, to include its squad leader, the commander and first sergeant – each of whom would have to compete in one event.
The events included the Army Physical Fitness Test, Class A inspection, confidence course, Engagement Skills Trainer 2000 (weapons trainer) and an orienteering course.
The lead organizers – 1st Sgt. Celia Fellers and Master Sgt. Richard Binnon from HHC 23rd QM Bde. – and their staff put forth great effort to ensure that the spirit of the competition would be challenging, rewarding but also, fun, according to Fellers.
“With a great supporting cast that made sure the event execution was successful, it showed that the Brigade did what it loves to do and that is to train Soldiers,” said Fellers.
The event started off with all three competitors competing at once in three different events. The first event finished was the Class A inspection, where the Co. T team held an early but slim lead.
Co. T’s Staff Sgt. Robert Archer, 6th squad’s squad leader said, “The Soldiers stayed motivated and knew that they could win the Class A competition and put forth 100 percent effort not only today but throughout the night before getting ready for today.”
The Co. R team showed up with some support midway through the APFT. The Co. R Soldiers were pumping up their teammates with chanting and cheering and lived up to the “Ride or Die” attitude by winning the APFT event by two points over the Co. A.
This placed Co. R in second place early and proved to be the motivation that Co. A needed to win the confidence course.
With three events down and three to go, it was anybody’s to win – only a slim margin existed between all three teams.
Staff Sgt. Richard Kobelt of Co. T led his fifth squad into EST 2000, not knowing who was winning but knew his squad would do their best.
“The different scenarios made it real difficult because you didn’t know who the enemy was until the last possible second,” said Kobelt.
The Co. T Tigers lived up to their motto of “Tango Tough” by showing just because they were in last place they could still win it all with two events to go. Staff Sgt. Luis Ramos’s third squad of Co. T was the first to finish what would be the more difficult of the events, the orienteering course. This event covered over four miles of Fort Lee with five different stations. Station varied from detainee operations to quartermaster history, Ramos said.
“This was tough, but my Soldiers stayed motivated and showed a ‘don’t quit attitude,’” said Ramos.
The military operations on urban terrain, or MOUT, challenge tested Soldiers in clearing a building and rescuing a hostage. Four members of each team were armed with an M-4 and paint ball rounds. Staff Sgt. Christopher Brigdon, Co. A’s third squad team leader, put it into perspective for his squad by saying, “ As long as you learn something, nobody gets hurt and, you have fun the rest will take care of its self.”
Brigdon didn’t get the MOUT score that he wanted – which was one point more than enough for Co. A to claim victory and the title of 23rd Brigade Quartermaster Honor Company.
Now with the final scores posted it was up to Col. Terence Hildner, brigade commander, to announce Co. A the winner. Cheer erupted from the Gators side and applause from the rest of the contestants.
“This says a lot about our Soldiers training but, also about the trainers doing the training and training above the standards,” said Hildner.
“I am proud of each and every Soldier and we plan to defend our title in April,” said Capt. Brian Davis, Co. A commander.
The 266th QM Bn. commander, Lt. Col. Rodney Palmer, said the event was an extraordinary success for the brigade.
“This was a great event because it symbolizes what AIT is all about,” said Palmer. “I’m proud of all our Soldiers and the spirit of the competition.”