FORT RILEY, Kan. – The partnership between Kansas State University’s Baseball Team and the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, has lasted for almost two years. This partnership has fostered mutual respect and understanding between soldiers and students and has helped to build a lasting relationship.
“It’s a great experience, it’s a tremendous experience for our (players) to be involved with this … just to see them work together, pick each other up and encourage each other was a great experience,” said Brad Hill, head coach of the KSU Baseball Team.
Since the signing of their partnership, the soldiers of 2-16 Inf. Reg. ‘Rangers’ and the KSU Baseball Team have accomplished many things together to build their camaraderie. On Sept. 30, the two partners got together for some physical fitness training ‘Ranger’ style.
“It’s gives us the chance to work out with somebody different; it gets kind of old training with the same soldiers every day,” said Sgt. Zachary Sheaks, a scout in Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-16 Inf.
“It mixes things up a little bit while building relations with the campus, the students, and the baseball team because we support their games as well,” he added.
Broken down into teams, the groups conducted a three-mile run, rope climb, 50 meter tire flip, eight-foot wall jump, 200 meter sprint and a ladder climb, all while wearing an Interceptor Body Armor vest.
“It’s nice to be done, it was miserable at first because the sun isn’t out and it’s cold out,” said Joe Flattery, a pitcher on the KSU Baseball Team. “You get through it and learn some mental and physical discipline.”
“I wasn’t expecting the camaraderie and seeing the other battalions run by; I thought it was really cool to experience anything like it,” said Flattery.
The running wasn’t the test for the baseball team, it was the rope climb and the eight-foot wall jump that made things kind of challenging.
“(I enjoyed) watching our guys climb the rope, it hasn’t gone so good so far, they’ve done okay so far on everything else but the climbing of the rope there is a definite technique that they need to learn,” said Hill.
“Watching the (soldiers) in the battalion helping our (players) was really neat; it’s a great experience for both sides,” he added.