News: Fort Bliss Soldiers, Iraqi Army Best Squad Competition
Story by Pfc. Jessica Luhrs-Stabile
KIRKUK, Iraq -- Determination to win, could be seen on the face of every 12th Division Iraqi Army soldier as soon as 1st Sgt. Xavier Hunt, a 'Blackhawk' first sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 6th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, out of Fort Bliss, Texas, held up the blue and gold trophy marking the final day of IA Best Squad Competition on Texan Base, April 28.
More than 50 IA soldiers competed, on 5 different squads, and have been training with 'Blackhawk' Soldiers on physical training, weapons assembly/disassembly, combat lifesaving, weapons firing and other basic combat skills.
This competition was natural instinct, said Spc. Reginald Moreno, a Dallas native and a 'Blackhawk' Soldier with the Military Transition Team. You get a bunch of soldiers together, no matter the nationality; they are going to want to know who the best is.
Some good-natured competition ended-up being just what these IA soldiers needed to push themselves to exceed the standards, according to Pfc. Derek Bowman, a native of Pleasant Garden, N.C. also with the MiTT.
"I was working on training them to disassemble/assemble and perform safety checks on a M16 and within a day they had it down," said Bowman.
At the end of the day, with their partners standing by their side the Scouts were named the IA Best Squad and awarded the trophy.
This competition proved to not only be what the IA soldiers needed, it had benefits for the 'Blackhawks' too.
This competition also gave 'Blackhawk' Soldiers an opportunity for their leadership skills to grow, on every lane a junior-enlisted Soldier was assisting and advising the IA soldiers, according to Hunt.
At the beginning of everyday the 'Blackhawk' leadership made sure they had a junior-enlisted Soldier advising and assisting a squad.
"This builds my Soldiers confidence to teach, lead and delegate; all skills each of them will need in the future," said Hunt.