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    Train, Sustain, and Maintain: 7ID Hosts Inaugural Sustainers of the Year Competition

    7ID Sustainers of the Year Awards Ceremony

    Photo By Sgt. ShaTyra Reed | Team Lancer, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, and their leaders pose for a photo...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. ShaTyra Reed 

    16th Combat Aviation Brigade

    JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Before the sun could rise over Mount Rainer, 20 support and logistics Soldiers put on their tactical gear and made final checks before they embarked on a four-mile road march. With only the streetlights shining from the sky above and their headlamps showing them the way, they navigated through the cold and dark terrain to the unknown of the day that awaited them.

    These participants representing four brigades from across the installation that competed in the 7th Infantry Division inaugural Sustainers of the Year competition, here on Oct. 7.

    The challenging, one-day competition tested the Soldiers’ physical and mental endurance while promoting team building and esprit de corps.

    “The competition helped me realize that a mission can be completed more efficiently and have a higher chance of being successful when done with multiple people who work together rather than doing it alone,” said Spc. Brian Vero, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to Alpha Company, 46th Aviation Support Battalion, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade.

    The competition was designed to be a team concept with each team consisting of five competitors, including a wheeled vehicle mechanic, a unit supply specialist, and an automated logistical specialist. The goal was not to find the strongest or fastest team, but to find the team that worked the best together.

    “The recipe for success relied heavily on competing as a team,” said Sgt. Maj. Trinidad Gutierrez, the 7ID G4 sergeant major. “The teams were challenged to work through the different stations together and encourage each other through each and every obstacle.”

    The primary goal for the Sustainers of the Year competition was to highlight what sustainers bring to the fight.

    “Sustainers are trained and skilled to support,” said Gutierrez. “A sustainer allows a unit greater reach, preparedness, and lethality. Combat MOS’ take the fight to the enemy but without the sustainer, they cannot reach as far, as fast, or as lethal.”

    While this is not a badge generating competition, it allowed Soldiers from the motor-pool, warehouses, and supply rooms to showcase their talents.

    Unlike the Expert Infantry Badge and the Expert Field Medical Badge, there has not been a competition strictly devoted to showing off the talents of sustainers. Logistics doesn’t have an Army-wide competition for sustainers like infantry, armor, or even cooks.

    Gutierrez was the driving force behind the division’s competition, and he hopes it serves as an example that will motivate others and the Army to put together their own excellence in logistics competitions.

    “Too often, sustainers feel underappreciated for the long hours and hard work that is asked of them,” said Gutierrez. “Sustainers often have to watch as others have the opportunity to shine and show off their skills for recognition and awards or badges. By developing this competition for the sustainers, I hope that other sustainers see the opportunities available to them because they can and often do perform just as well as their peers.”

    Focusing on combat operations, the competition took the foundation of what the Army has asked every Soldier to do and packaged it into a team competition. Each event represented the warrior tasks and battle drills every Soldier is expected to know as well as MOS-specific skill level 1 tasks.

    Following a brief introduction, the teams began with a 4-mile ruck. The morning phase of the competition ended with the teams running through an obstacle course and completing an engagement skills trainer II range.

    In the afternoon, the teams rotated through various lanes which assessed basic Soldier skills. The stations covered medical evacuation, weapons assembly and disassembly, land navigation, vehicle maintenance, and MOS-specific tasks.

    At the conclusion of the day’s events, senior logistics leaders scored the teams’ performances based off their points for each event. In the end, it was Team Lancer from the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team who took first place.

    “Being a part of Team Lancer meant a whole lot, it was an honor to represent the
    brigade to the division and compete against other brigades,” said Pfc. Lorenzo Alonso, an automated logistical specialist and member of Team Lancer. “Being a part of a great motivated team was the most rewarding part to me.”

    Alonso credits his unit’s success to their commitment and diversity. He said their team consisted of two wheeled vehicle mechanics, a combat medic, unit supply specialist, and an automated logistical specialist.

    "Our wide-range of backgrounds, experience and ability to bring all that knowledge together to train and compete made each other stronger," said Alonso.

    Each participant of the winning team was presented an Army Commendation Medal and coin for excellence from Maj. Gen. Xavier T. Brunson, the 7th ID Commanding General.

    Following the success of the inaugural competition, 7ID G4 leadership plans to establish an annual event. During his remarks at the conclusion of this year’s competition, Gutierrez said they have already began receiving after action reports and are planning to make the next competition bigger and better.

    The end goal is that the competition will grow into a comparable event to any EIB or EFMB competition.

    “This first competition was just an introduction to the sustainer world,” said Gutierrez. “Look out big Army, the sustainers are coming!”



    Date Taken: 10.08.2020
    Date Posted: 12.31.2020 23:49
    Story ID: 386354

    Web Views: 31
    Downloads: 0