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    Sappers bust confidence course

    Sapper Confidence Course

    Photo By Zachary Mott | Army Reserve Sgt. Tyler Carter, left, 402nd Engineer Company (Sapper), crosses the log...... read more read more



    Story by Cheryl Phillips 

    88th Readiness Division

    FORT McCOY, Wis. – Corporations pay thousands of dollars to take their employees to an offsite to engage a confidence course to build teamwork and camaraderie.

    The Sappers of the 402nd Engineer Company, Ames, Iowa, didn’t have to pay a dime to spend about an hour running through 21 obstacles on the confidence course here on the afternoon of July 15, 2021.

    The names of the obstacles can be deceiving: Belly Buster, Tarzan, Reverse Climb, Weaver, Low Belly Over and Confidence Climb. Unless you see them, you don’t know what to expect. Each one tested the Soldiers’ balance, strength and agility. For many, being tall was an advantage.

    The company broke into teams of five or six Soldiers, then worked together struggling with the obstacles. Team members yelled words of encouragement to fellow members to help them complete a particularly tough obstacle. Adding to the challenge was the warm and humid temperature. Additionally, the Soldiers had just finished eating lunch, and were heard to comment that they were tasting the food again.

    The teams ran between each obstacle, not allowing much time for recovery. For one of the Safety NCOs, that wasn’t fast enough.

    “Are we walking? Let’s go!” exclaimed Sgt. First Class Andrew England, safety NCO with the 389th Engineer Battalion, Dubuque, Iowa. He made the Soldiers do 10 burpees before engaging the Climb Tower. At the obstacle, the Soldiers climbed a tower, grasped the rope, swung their legs upward, held the rope with their legs to distribute the weight between their arms and legs and proceeded down the rope.

    England exhorted another team: “Let’s go, let’s go! Why’s it taking so long?”

    When it was all over, Soldiers recovered and relaxed in the shade, rehydrating.

    Sgt. Tyler Carter thought the Weaver obstacle the roughest. “It’s a lot harder than it looks. You use every muscle in your body.” On a V-shaped ladder, the Soldiers had to weave their body under one bar and over the next, first up then over and down.

    Also finding the Weaver the most challenging was Sgt. Shane MacDonald. “It was time consuming but fun.”

    Sgt. Kelsey Coffin thought the 3 Rope Bridge was “awesome.” In that obstacle, Soldiers had to grasp the top ropes, one in each hand, then walk along a single bottom rope to the other side.

    Despite the fact that the experience was free, it was valuable.

    “It proves to you that you’re capable of doing more than you think,” Sgt. Benjamin Retz said. He added that it was great to be able to encourage other team members who were hesitant, “then see them focused and accomplish the task at hand.”

    Retz also said that the activity built team camaraderie, noting that that there was a bit of competitive spirit among the teams as they met the obstacle challenges. Evidence of that was the trash talk between teams as one came up on another that was moving a bit slowly.



    Date Taken: 07.15.2021
    Date Posted: 07.19.2021 09:58
    Story ID: 401160
    Location: US

    Web Views: 103
    Downloads: 0