By Spc. Sharla Lewis
1st Cavalry Division public affairs
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - The 36th Infantry Division sponsored its quarterly Arrowhead Stakes competition Friday to name southern Iraq's soldier and noncommissioned officer of the quarter.
The competition was hosted by the 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, which also had individuals participating in the competition.
Cpl. David Nagle, Alpha Company, 215th Brigade Support Battalion, and Spc. Cory Penven, Bravo Troop, 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, competed against four other troopers from units throughout the division's area of responsibility.
The competition began in the early morning with an Army physical fitness test near the House of Pain Gym at Adder.
The soldiers then prepared their backpacks for a six-mile road march to the firing range where they completed a series of basic soldier task challenges, including firing an AK-47 assault rifle and administering medical trauma first aid to a simulated casualty.
Those participating in the competition said the physical aspect of the day was exhausting, though it only lasted until 11 a.m.
"The second mile of the run was bad," Penven said. "And the road march sucked."
The competitors later took turns sitting before a board of their superiors during a test of their Army knowledge in a rapid-fire, question-and-answer session.
The competitors, their sponsors and leaders from throughout U.S. Division-South gathered at the end of the day for dinner at Adder's Coalition Dining Facility to award the winners and review the day's successes.
Six soldiers entered the competition, but only two emerged victorious: Nagle and Penven. They received Army Commendation Medals, coins, backpacks and bragging rights.
Nagle said the competition was fierce, but he was proud and confident in his abilities.
"It was a healthy competition," he said. "But I knew after the board that I had it in the bag. We earned this. We'll represent 1st Cav all the way to (U.S. Forces Command)."
Penven said he wanted to start preparing to get promoted to sergeant, and Nagle nodded his head in approval.
"This is just one step closer to getting promoted and one step closer to making a difference in soldiers' lives," Nagle said.