Sustainers compete in Excellence in Logistics competition

by Staff Sgt. Warren Wright, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
Stripes Korea

CAMP HOVEY, South Korea – Sustainers from the 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, participated in the battalion’s Excellence in Logistics competition on Camp Humphreys, South Korea April 24 to 27.

The event tested the Soldiers in multiple areas, allowing them to show off their skills in multifunctional logistics.

“The competition was great,” said Command Sgt. Maj. David Williams, the battalion’s senior enlisted leader. “We had several noncommissioned officers, Soldiers and officers that exceeded the standard I thought was going to be met. It was an incredible event in my eyes.”

Soldiers were put through a variety of tasks during the four-day long competition, including an Army physical fitness test; a written test that assessed logistics knowledge; weapons proficiency tests; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) operations; utilizing communication equipment; and a six-mile ruck march to name a few.

“The Soldiers were outstanding,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kimberly Cook, the battalions operations NCO in charge. “Their moral was so high and it turned out great. I felt like a proud mom.”

The competition began with 25 teams of three Soldiers in varying logistical professions and, by the time it was over, 19 had finished.

“In order for that team to make it though, they had to deal with somebody that they never worked with; someone they never sat down with and had a conversation with, so they had to come together as a team,” Cook said. “It tuned out great. They all had to work as a unit and to reach outside of their comfort level.”

For the sustainers, the competition was a great way to showcase the many abilities and the skills they bring to the fight.

“It’s impossible to win any war or any battle without sustainment operations,” Williams said. Without sustainers “there’s no fuel, there’s no water and there’s no food; period.”

Unlike the infantry, the armor branch, or even cooks, logistics doesn’t have an Army wide competition for sustainers. Williams was the driving force behind the battalion’s competition and he hopes his unit’s example will motivate others and the Army to put together their own excellence in logistics competitions.

“I’ve been thinking about doing that since I was a first sergeant,” Williams said. “Why isn’t there a particular event for the sustainers to, not necessarily earn a badge, but just to say, ‘hey, this is what I can do and this is what I can accomplish?’”

Cook attributes the competition’s success to the support she received from her leadership and the other NCOs that facilitated the event.

“No matter what I needed, they were there,” she said. “It couldn’t have went as well as it did without them.”

The 101st BSB is currently serving on a nine-month rotation with the rest of the 1st ABCT to South Korea as part of the U.S.’s commitment to security on the Korean peninsula.

Photo Caption:

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea – Soldiers from the 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, participate in a knowledge board in front of battalion leadership during the unit’s Excellence in Logistics competition on Camp Humphreys, South Korea April 27. The four-day long competition also had sustainers compete in several other tasks, including an Army physical fitness test; a written test that assessed logistics knowledge; weapons proficiency tests; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) operations; utilizing communication equipment; and a six-mile ruck march to name a few.

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