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Home > UNS > 141125-01



DIVARTY Soldiers participate in commando competition

by Staff Sgt. Betty Y. Boomer
24th Press Camp Headquarters

FORT BLISS, Texas (USASOC News Service, Nov. 25, 2014) – Soldiers throughout 1st Armored Division Artillery came together to participate in the inaugural Staff Sgt. Joshua Mills Commando Competition hosted by the Fort Bliss Special Operations Recruiting Center on Noel Field , Nov. 21.

Staff Sgt. Joshua M. Mills, a native of El Paso and a member of 7th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, N.C., died in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan in 2009. His family along with the Special Operations Recruiting Center here wanted to do something in his honor.

“He loved his family and he loved his country. He loved the Green Berets,” said Quent Mills, Joshua's father.

The competition was organized to build camaraderie and esprit de corps to Soldiers who were willing to take the challenge. 1st Armored Division Brigades were invited to compete.

“The key thing about this event was they didn’t know what was going to happen so it forced Soldiers to rely upon each other and situational awareness,” said Sgt. 1st Class Marques Daniels, Special Forces recruiter.

A total of 10 teams participated in this event. Soldiers completed three physical challenges that began at the Leadership Reaction Course, then on to a two-mile run and finishing with a three-mile ruck in full gear while carrying one of their teammate on a liter. The commando-style competition was a test of not only their physical abilities, but also their ability to communicate effectively to achieve the vigorous activities.

“I only knew three Soldiers on my team before today, but doing this competition, we all came together to challenge ourselves mentally and physically,” said Sgt. Vincent Zaffke, Cannon Crewmember, 2nd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Division. “Even though we didn’t place in the top three, I would definitely do this again,” he continued.

In remembrance of Mills, the Ballad of the Green Beret was played before awards were presented to the winners. The 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division was presented with a trophy, which they will return and present to next year’s winner.

For more information on events hosted by the Special Operations Recruiting Center, visit their office here on Club Road or call 915-569-6431.