By 1Lt. Joshua T. Fosher
2D Engineer PAO
During the latest installment of the 2E Sapper Steel Warrior Challenge, the trophy was passed from the 595th Sapper Company to the 40th Mobility Augmentation Company. The 8.6 mile course remained the same but the five stations designed to test mental toughness and resilience were changed to ensure no one team had an unfair advantage. A “stress shoot” station held at the Small Arms Range was the highlight for most teams. Soldiers were tested by having to “pay” for their rounds with three burpees, a squat thrust with a pushup and jump, per single round and then attempt to calm down, focus, and shoot three small balloons at 20 meters. Soldiers relied on past marksmanship training and new performance enhancement training provided by Fort Bliss’ Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness performance enhancement trainers.
The most difficult station for this month’s challenge may have been the last, which was only 100 meters from the finish line. Soldiers were required to bear crawl across 50 meters of the parade field as a team. While dealing with physical and mental exhaustion from the bear crawling and the entirety of the course, teams were assigned the task of coming up with three words each that met a 100-point criteria where each letter of the alphabet letter was assigned a specific point value, A-1, B-2, C-3, etc. Soldiers had to work together as a team to accomplish the task.
After each team crossed the finished line, times were calculated, and Team 6 from the 40th MAC was crowned the winner by the battalion commander, Lt. Col. James Koeppen. Koeppen handed the trophy to the team leader, Sgt. Michael Rogers, and awarded each team member with an Army Achievement Medal Team 6 included Spc. Kit Carlson, Spc. Kaleb Bunkers, Spc. Phillip Elkins, Spc. James Hopper, Pfc. Stanislav Kovalchuk, Pfc. Kellen Nitz and Pfc. Julian Sanchez. Team 6 will have a guaranteed slot and an opportunity to defend their title in the next challenge scheduled for April.