News: New Soldiers learn value of teamwork, physical fitness
Story by Staff Sgt. Jeff Lowry
By Staff Sgt. Jeff Lowry
Indiana Army National Guard
CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - Indiana Army National Guard recruits, most who have been to basic training, participated in Warrior Challenge, a one day event to test Soldiers' physical ability and help them build teamwork.
"It builds camaraderie. It builds teamwork," said Staff Sgt. Eddie Embry, sergeant in charge of the Recruit Sustainment Detachment 5 in Evansville.
During the day's events, Guard Soldiers competed in push-ups, sit-ups, a two mile run, a four mile road march and an obstacle course. The state's 10 RSDs represented all regions within Indiana, from Evansville to Fort Wayne and from South Bend to Madison. "It's very competitive," said Embry of the challenge. "You have 18-year-olds from all walks of life, and they want to compete."
Embry was the de facto motivator during the day peppering the recruits with rhetorical questions and drill sergeant-like commands.
"Down, up! Down, up! Let's go Det 5," he called during the push-ups.
"Get up private!" he yelled encouragingly to a Soldier who was having difficulty during the sit ups. "Get up off my mat private!"
"What's not an option privates?" Embry asked before the road march. "Failure sergeant!" the Soldiers answered in unison.
"If you put the thought in their head that failure is not an option, then they'll be successful in anything they do," said Embry.
The state's tenth detachment, Detachment 11 headquartered in Noblesville, is the newest in the state, and its six Soldiers at Warrior Challenge haven't been to basic training yet. The detachments start at two, which is why the tenth is Det. 11.
While some of the Det. 11 Soldiers credit the van ride from Noblesville to Camp Atterbury as the team-bonding experience, others credit the road march.
"We came together on the four-mile road march," said Pvt. Leah Barnekow, of Noblesville. "We saw other teams fall apart on the march." They were determined not to do that.
The Det. 11 Soldiers finished seventh in 58 minutes and 19 seconds.
"We're a new detachment, and we weren't last," said Pvt. Reba Kindrick of Greenfield.
"It wasn't easy, but it wasn't bad," said Pvt. Josh Sibert of Mooresville. Others on his team said he was a lifesaver for helping them with their rucksacks during the march. Sibert is scheduled to leave for basic training in two weeks.
During the obstacle course Det. 11 Soldiers watched other teams' performances as they waited their turn. Scouting the other teams they came up with a plan for each obstacle. "We got a game plan right?" said Sibert. "Nobody gets left behind."
That idea was key during the obstacle course because the team couldn't move onto the next obstacle until all members finished the current one.
"It's all about teamwork," said Barnekow.
The detachment didn't turn in the best time during the obstacle course, but the Soldiers drew praise from their readiness sergeant.
"I'm proud of you guys," said Sgt. 1st Class Simon Hernandez of Carmel, to his Soldiers. "You showed a lot of teamwork."