Story and photo by Sgt. Grady Jones
3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
Teamwork is an integral part of a Soldier’s ability to accomplish a mission, and much like individual skills, teamwork must be trained, practiced and improved upon to ensure success.
Teams of five to seven Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, completed a three-mile obstacle course July 11, centered on the Soldiers’ ability to work as a team to accomplish each task.
Twelve tasks were broken down into five stations, spread out over the Fort Carson garrison area, ranging from weapons assembly, sandbag carry and wall climb, a team-run relay with pushups, administering first aid and a general knowledge quiz.
There are tasks in the Army that require more than individual effort, said 1st Lt. Gregory Rich, platoon leader, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Bn., 8th Inf. Reg.
“The driving purpose was to show the Soldiers that, as a team, there’s nothing they cannot accomplish,” said Rich.
The teams began at the company headquarters and were given a box containing all the parts of multiple weapon systems, all of which they had to reassemble and perform a weapons check on.
Cadet William Hess, a student at the U.S. Military Academy temporarily assigned to 1st
Bn., 8th Inf. Reg., as part of an intern program, said there were weapons that he had never trained on.
“I’ve dealt with the M4 Carbine and M240B (machine gun), but I didn’t know anything about the Beretta M9 pistol or M2 .50 caliber machine gun,” said Hess. “Reassembly of the weapons was a team effort.”
After weapons were assembled, teams ran to the track located near McKibben Physical Fitness Center to complete a 2,000-meter relay and 500 pushups.
After completing the relay and pushups, teams moved to Training Area Bravo to conduct first aid, request a nine-line medical evacuation and perform casualty evacuation procedures.
After completing the first four stations, each team returned to the battalion area and completed a general knowledge quiz in categories such as U.S. government and pop culture.
“There were trick questions like ‘How many senators are there in the House of Representatives?’” Hess said.
Pfc. Thomas Barrios, cavalry scout, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Bn., 8th Inf. Reg., said the training event bolstered esprit de corps in the unit.
“It helped to build our team cohesion, camaraderie and commitment to the Warrior Ethos,” said Barrios.
The unit plans to hold more team building events in the future.