Sgt. Adam Small, a health care specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, slides into third base during the final game of the Wrangler Day Softball Tournament at Sgt. Rodney J. Evans Softball Complex on March 28. Small was playing for the Brigade Support Operations Team that finished in second place.

Sgt. Adam A. Erlewein | U.S. Army

Wranglers work hard day in and day out, but on Wrangler Day it’s a time for the soldiers to sit back and relax with a bowl of nachos while cheering on their company softball teams at Sgt. Rodney J. Evans Softball Complex.

Wrangler Day was held March 28 to provide soldiers a break from the average work day to participate in the morale boosting softball tournament or to sit back and watch the game.

Wrangler Day started during physical training with all of the battalions in formation preparing to go on a run. The commander of the 4th Sustainment Brigade, Col. Timothy Luedecking, was at the front of the formation running with his soldiers, and at the end of the run he dismissed them to get ready for the softball games.

The 12 teams were made up of soldiers from the 4th Special Troops Battalion, 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 49th Transportation Battalion, and soldiers from the brigade staff. Each team competing was not only trying to win bragging rights for their unit but also for the Wrangler Day softball trophy.

Before the games started all of the soldiers were gathered together in either their summer physical training uniform or baseball attire for a brigade formation. Luedecking addressed his soldiers and before the games could start, the Wranglers sang, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

Soldiers were able to cheer on their company teams in some close games while the family readiness group provided nachos, drinks, cookies and other snacks to help complete the softball experience.

Spc. Ricardo Kowalchuk, from the 4th Special Troops Battalion and their 3rd baseman for the tournament, said when an activity like this goes on soldiers want to be involved.

“Everybody wanted to participate, was enthusiastic about it, and not only on my team but for other teams as well,” Kowalchuk said.

First Sgt. Patrick Patterson, the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of preparing the softball event said events like these are important to help build morale and develop team building.

“They did a lot of cheering for their team, and even some chanting against the other teams, all in good fun of course,” Patterson said. “It was good to have the whole unit there to watch each game, that way they could support their teammates during the games, as well as everyone else.”

The 602nd Ordinance Company, from the 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion eventually went on to win the tournament in a hard-fought final game.

Soldiers then fell into formation to watch the presentation of the trophy to the 602nd and Luedecking’s final remarks for the day before they were released to start their weekend early and enjoy time with family and friends.

“These events are important because it builds esprit de corps and camaraderie amongst soldiers, and just gives them a bit of down time and a fun day,” Patterson said.

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