Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

Race tests spouses’ Army knowledge

From left, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division spouses Kelly Kohunsky, Jennifer Broderick and Nichole Peterson, huddle around their first challenge pack during the brigade’s Family readiness group function March 6 at the brigade headquarters.

Story and photos by Sgt. Eric Glassey

4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

Soldiers’ spouses hurried through the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, headquarters building seeking clues and hitting roadblocks as they participated in their quarterly brigade Family readiness group function, March 6.

During the event styled after the television show “The Amazing Race,” spouses had to complete challenges that tested their knowledge of the various units within the brigade.

To find their next objective, racers had to place colored candy on a unit crest displayed in monochrome and decode riddles about units. In addition, they were tested on their general Army knowledge by arranging ranks from private to general in ascending order and singing the Army Song and 4th Inf. Div. March.

“We did the ‘Amazing Race’; we basically ran from station to station doing treasure hunts, reciting songs and doing the Cupid Shuffle,” said Angel Brown, a spouse with 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div. This was Brown’s first brigade FRG function, having just arrived at Fort Carson in August.

“It was a very good experience,” Brown said. “I got to learn all the different battalions within the brigade. My favorite part was the Cupid Shuffle, it’s a dance we had to do. Some of the girls didn’t know it, and they just got into it. This is my first team building (event) here, and this is a completely different experience. I’ve been to several different team buildings before, but (they were) never this fun.”

The 32 participants were divided into seven teams of either four or five spouses, picked at random, to merge FRGs from different battalions and develop new relationships.

“What we did today was allow various FRGs from different battalions to co-mingle and come together, which, I think, makes the team even stronger,” said Stephanie Norman, Family readiness support assistant, 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div.

“Right now, a large portion of the brigade is deployed,” Norman said. “It’s one way for all the FRGs to connect and touch base, and offer advice and assistance to help the units get through the deployment. Really, fundamentally, it’s about building stronger teams and cohesiveness among the teams.”

As the spouses moved throughout the headquarters, teammates had to rely on each other’s knowledge of different units within the battalion to figure out the clues and complete challenges.

“It was a great way to learn about the brigade,” said Lemoni Burney, spouse and FRG leader, Company B, 4th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div. “You get everyone involved and rely on people’s strengths.

It really was a great team-building exercise.

“What I would take from this, and what I hope others would as well, is having the experience of re-energizing yourself as a team,” Burney said. “I think as an FRG leader, we’re always trying to get Families together, and not just have a lame old meeting with pizza. Do things that are fun and engaging; have them want to come out to a meeting.”

Family readiness support advisers or noncommissioned officers are located within each battalion to assist Families during deployments.

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