News: Saber Challenge
Story by Spc. Zane Craig
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - Soldiers with the 298th Quartermaster Company, 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), called the “Sabers,” gathered at the Amnesty Yard Nov. 27, to celebrate their achievements as a unit during the previous week’s Saber Challenge.
Three teams of six soldiers competed in a different event each day. The events included a six-mile ruck march, an Army Physical Fitness Test, a weapons competition (assembly and disassembly), drill and ceremony, a non-tactical vehicle obstacle course, volleyball and a three-point shootout.
The winning team will compete in the 13th CSSB Commander’s Cup Jan. 22, 2011. The winners of that competition will compete in the 3rd Sust. Bde. Provider Challenge in February.
“I am very proud of the soldiers for what they have accomplished so far,” said 1st Sgt. Robert Rivas, senior enlisted leader of the 298th QM Company, and a Harker Heights, Texas, native.
Rivas was promoted at the ceremony along with four other Soldiers.
The winning team and the highest scoring male and female received a battalion commander’s coin featuring the Saber’s T-wall, a T-shirt from Exchange Car Sales, a certificate of achievement and a four-day pass. The top male and female can take their pass at Freedom Rest, a rest and recuperation program that takes place at Victory Base Complex, Iraq.
“I feel blessed and a little shocked that we won,” said Spc. Christopher Soto, all-wheeled vehicle mechanic with the 298th QM Company, and a Killeen, Texas, native. “We had our ups and downs as a team but we came out on top.”
Soto was the squad leader of the winning team and the highest scoring male in the Saber Challenge.
“It feels really good to win, but it was the people on the sidelines who motivated me to get the score I did,” said Spc. Vanessa Vargas, logistics specialist with the 298th QM Company, and a Newark, Calif., native.
The Sabers do an event every month to promote morale and esprit de corps, but Rivas and the commander, Capt. Anjeanette Lawson, a Charleston, S.C., native, decided to do something a little different while simultaneously preparing the Sabers for the Provider Challenge.
The Sabers’ esprit de corps and readiness to embrace a challenge was clearly on display at the end of week ceremony that closed out the Saber Challenge and paved the way for the top team to advance to the next level.