1BCT Rocks the Best Lieutenant Competition

1st Brigade Combat Team,10th Mountain Division (LI)
Story by Capt. Ed Robles

Date: 09.06.2018
Posted: 09.06.2018 11:53
News ID: 291625
1BCT Rocks the Best Lieutenant Competition

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Sep. 6, 2018) -- The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), launched its first OPERATION SENECA ROCKS Best Lieutenant Competition at Fort Drum, Aug. 29. The competition’s name pays homage to the Seneca Rocks, West Virginia, training area where, from 1943 through 1944, 10th Mountain Soldiers validated their mountain warfare training to earn the Division’s “Mountain” tab insignia. The Soldiers validated at Seneca Rocks went on to seize German artillery positions on Riva Ridge in the Apennine Mountains of Italy during World War II.

Twelve teams from across the BCT’s seven battalions participated in the event, which focused on training fundamentals through testing eight warrior tasks: Land Navigation; Call for Fire; Recognition of Combat Vehicles (ROC-V); Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN); Weapons Assembly; Vehicle Maintenance; Radio Communication, and Combat Casualty Care. After completing the hands-on testing, each leader took an individual written test to complete the competition. During the exam the BCT Commander greeted and spoke to all participants, and provided insight to their future operations while fielding their questions.

“Competitions bring out the best in our Soldiers,” said Col. Shane Morgan, Commander of 1BCT, 10th MTN DIV. “Although these tasks are fundamental skills, we don’t perform them every day and we need to practice. No different than high school, college, or a professional sports team, you must practice the basics, and we must have multiple repetitions before executing under pressure. The best lieutenant competition serves as a way to train our leaders on the basic tasks that every Soldier must know, and those critical tasks that every Soldier must feel confident executing while under pressure.”

Soldiers raced against the clock to eight warrior task stations throughout Fort Drum, where they were graded on demonstrated skill level. Teams were also tasked with physical exercises between stations to increase the challenge.

“We were pushed to our physical limits and I enjoyed it,” said 1LT Bradley Davidson, troop executive officer, 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment. “We had to treat multiple mock casualties, which is something we rarely get to do.”

“I thought it was great to get back to the basics,” said 1st Lt. Lyle Regalado, platoon leader, 3rd Battalion, 71st Cavalry Regiment. “Sometimes platoon leaders and company executive officers can be so far removed that we may not practice things such as MOPP (mission orientated protective posture) gear for the chemical lane”.

First Lieutenants Jonathan McElroy and Nathan Dow, both of 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, credited their team’s victory to practice and competition.

“This event was very competitive, and great for anyone who has a competitive nature,” said McElroy.

“Competition forces you to prove your greatness, and prepares us for the fight ahead,” said Dow. “We should always work towards being more lethal on the battle field. War is high stakes and we’re ready now.”

The event was also a strong measure of the ability to lead Soldiers by example.

“The Seneca Rocks competition provided the opportunity for lieutenants to show they are as technically and tactically proficient as the Soldiers they lead,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Wendell Franklin, 1BCT, 10th MTN DIV. “There is no greater inspiration than leaders who routinely share in their team’s hardships. The hardship and training they put themselves through in this event not only inspired their own Soldiers, it also inspired everyone in this Brigade Combat Team.”

Completing the competition gave Soldiers a chance to reflect on the opportunity to lead and the importance of consistent improvement.

“I believe it is our privilege to lead Soldiers,” said 2nd Lt. Melissa Lara, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment. “This event was great because it helped me improve as a leader and my Soldiers will be better for it.”

“This was a reminder to always challenge ourselves,” said 1st Lt. Jeffrey Davenport, 10th Brigade Support Battalion, 1BCT. “Gaining better self-awareness is a big part of being a leader, and I think it’s going to help me and my Soldiers driving forward.”

The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division trains to conduct Full Spectrum Operations anywhere in the world with focus on developing leaders and units that can effectively execute decentralized operations. On order 1 BCT disrupts or destroys enemy military forces and controls land areas, including populations and resources, in support of U.S. national interests. For more information visit us on Facebook: @1BCT10MTN