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Support soldiers try combat fitness test

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Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 4:30 am

In efforts to enhance physical fitness and keep soldiers motivated, the 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, conducted a combat physical fitness event Oct. 4.

About 50 soldiers of the Gambler Battalion’s Alpha and Bravo companies participated in the event, which placed soldiers into two-man teams building cohesiveness and testing their mental endurance, said 2nd Lt. Jimmie Watson, a Gambler platoon leader and officer-in-charge of the event range.

The event included a 1.7-mile run to the rifle range in the Army Combat Uniform while holding a rifle. There, participants immediately donned their gear and shot 40 rounds at their assigned target. After completion soldiers dropped their gear and ran back to the start position.

Soldiers were awarded points based on their time, rounds hit, and overall team time, resulting in a four-day pass for the winners, Watson said.

In addition, soldiers enjoyed esprit de corps and a mental challenge preparing them for combat operations.

“This event is not a normal physical training routine,” said Gambler Command Sgt. Maj. Manuel Doyler. “It was developed by Gambler leadership to build esprit de corps, cohesiveness and a soldiers sense of accomplishment.”

Mental challenges come from added stress while trying to maintain endurance and accuracy throughout the event.

“Coming off a long run with your weapon and in uniform, having to go right into a range, it becomes a ‘stress shoot,” Doyle added. “Mentally it challenges the soldier to stay accurate with a lack of energy.”

As Bravo Company prepped to start, soldiers were excited and ready to compete despite the added mental pressure of the event.

“I am proud of my platoon, they are pumped up and excited for this challenge,” said 2nd Lt. Crystal Guliford, a Bravo Company platoon leader. “This is an experience the soldiers asked for and the added pressure of the competition is good for them.”

The added pressure also ensured some soldiers pushed themselves to achieve a desired goal.

“Coming off a back injury, I really had to push myself mentally more than physically,” said Spc. Jeff Lawson, an ammo specialist with Alpha Company. “I enjoyed the competition and kept telling myself to push past the point were I was comfortable.”

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