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2024 Best Squad Competition

FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Cali  –  

Fort Hunter Ligget, CA – Five members of the 80th Training and its three divisions joined together to compete in the 2024 Best Squad competition hosted by the 63rd Readiness Division in Camp Parks and Fort Hunter Liggett, Ca. from March 6 – 13, 2024.

Out of the five soldiers only two of them came from the same unit, but they were able to bond together to compete against other squads from Major Supporting Commands in the Army Reserve, completing various unknown task throughout the week.

Staff Sgt. Roger Dyer from the 83rd United States Reserve Readiness Training Center, under the 100th Training Division, said the hardest part of the competition was the “unknown.”

The soldiers woke up every day having no clue of what awaits them. Command Sgt. Maj. Sam Lee with the 63rd Readiness Division, said he wanted the competition to reflect real-life on the battlefield. “You never know what the enemy has in store for you, but you must be prepared to adapt and overcome whatever they hit you with,” Lee said.

“That is what these soldiers are doing here. We present them with a challenge they didn’t know was coming, and they come together as a squad, as one single unit and execute the mission,” said Lee.

Dyer said he entered the competition to push himself to bigger limits and further then he thought was possible. He had to see if he could do it. “It was hard, it was fast paced, it was challenging, but I got through it” Dyer said. He encourages others to compete in a best squad competition so they can push themselves outside of their comfort zone, see what they are capable of, and go beyond their limits of comfort.

Staff Sgt. Rodney Rosier participated in the competition to enhance his warrior skills. “Being a 42A (human resources specialist) we aren’t involved in much training outdoors, so I like the way Sgt. Maj. Lee pushed us to get back to our warrior task,” Rosier stated.

Some of those warrior tasks included, weapons qualification, ruck marches, throwing grenades, obstacle courses, repealing off a tower, and medical lanes where they had to treat casualties, just to name a few.

“The most rewarding part was being with the squad,” said Rosier. “After only being with them for a few days we were able to get through the Bruce Tuckman’s stages of group dynamic and were very cohesive as a team.” Bruce Tuckman identified five-stages that teams follow to become high performers, they include: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning.
When asked if he would compete in a Best Squad Competition again, Dyer said, “Absolutely! I’ll be back next year to win the best squad title.”

The 80th Training Commands Best Squad competitors, had to face the gas chamber, a challenge most soldiers only face once during basic training. Five members of the 80th Training and its three divisions joined together to compete in the 2024 Best Squad competition hosted by the 63rd Readiness Division in Camp Parks and Fort Hunter Liggett, Ca.