Fort Drum soldiers are constantly working on their physical fitness and with all that preparation comes skill. Skill that was displayed at the Muleskinner Commander's Cup Tuesday morning. YNN's Elizabeth Jeneault says the competition is a chance for soldiers to motivate one another.
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Fort Drum soldiers are all about challenging themselves in new ways, which is what five battalions from the 10th Sustainment Brigade had the chance to do Tuesday.
"It’s a nice opportunity to compete against the brigade because very few soldiers get the opportunity to do the obstacle course as a platoon, much less compete in it," said 1st Lt. Leo Walker, FSC 7th EN BN Executive Officer.
The obstacle course was a bit slippery from the snow, but the support of their peers allows them to overcome such difficulties.
Walker said, "You cheer people on. There isn’t too much helping another guy out, but having your buddies there to cheer you on really helps out."
That sense of community helps build brigade morale, but it also does something else. Having soldiers watch their peers compete in the day's various events, including water polo, flag football, combatives and weightlifting, hows them just how physically fit they all are. That tends to add fuel to their fire.
"We got battalions competing against battalions and soldiers compete against each other, so it's really just building that warrior spirit amongst ourselves," said Col. Willie Rios III, 10th Sustainment Brigade Commander.
Building that warrior spirit prepares soldiers for deployment. But it also lets them have some fun, something the brigade's commander says has a positive impact.
"I just asked the soldiers that just came off this last match, congratulated them, and they said that was fun. And so doing something like this, versus, you know, it takes them away from their daily mission to do a sporting event and I think it’s important and it builds that self esteem as well," Rios III said.
And as self esteem and morale are built, the brigade gets stronger.