DVIDS – News – The crème de la crème: previews of the best teams


After five grueling days of late nights and early mornings battling overwhelming odds in the searing heat of Fort Hood, Texas, the winners of the 2022 U.S. Army Forces Command Best Squad competition have finally been announced. . Competitors gathered at Club Hood for the announcement after a morning 12 mile walk and team draw to cap off the event. When finally the top team took the stage, hugs were shared, smiles widened and a shout of “AIR ASSAULT!” echoed throughout the room. The five Soldiers, Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Rodriguez, Sgt. Andrew Row, Spc. Samuel Alverez, Spc. Liam Lee, all infantrymen assigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, and Cpl. Jared Kiner, a combat medic also assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, representing the 18th Airborne Corps, is the best team in FORSCOM, but what makes the best team?
“This squad is such a deadly force because we really focus on cohesion,” the command sergeant said. Maj. Veronica Knapp, the senior enlisted advisor for the 101st Airborne Division. “This competition is all about trust, and aside from having strong leadership and tough soldiers, that’s something the team really excels at.”
This confidence helped the team overcome every obstacle that stood in the way of their victory. Over the five days, they would be pitted against eight other teams from across the FORSCOM footprint in everything from physical assessments, stress sessions, obstacle courses and tests of their mental acumen. Each team had to rely on all its members to overcome their weaknesses and highlight their strengths.
“Quarterbacks don’t win the game on their own,” said Sgt. Angelo Canevari, an indirect fire infantryman assigned to the 153rd Cavalry Division and the second FORSCOM NCO of the Year. “Even the stars of the team have weaknesses. This is where the rest of the team can step in and take over, which makes the team stronger. Strong sergeants make strong soldiers, strong soldiers make strong squads, strong squads win wars and win things.
These teams worked to complement each other in every way possible and as the team grew stronger, so did the members’ confidence in it. Everyone tried to respect the measures of an ideal team.
“The ideal team doesn’t look a certain way,” Knapp said. “It’s about how each member feels. It’s that feeling of knowing that you can rely on the people to your left and to your right. It’s the team that gets the job done and can always look out for each other, and that’s what our team is.
After the winning team received their Meritorious Service Medals, they patted each other on the back and beamed with excitement as they spoke, demonstrating the bonds they had forged together.
“This team means everything to me,” said Row, whose backhand wore two MSMs, one for his role on the top team and the other for being FORSCOM NCO of the Year. “These are the men I would always go to bat for and to do that day in and day out over the last week felt really special. I’m extremely happy to call the guys next to me the best team.

Date taken: 20.08.2022
Date posted: 20.08.2022 13:59
Story ID: 427718
Location: FORT HOOD, TX, USA

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