Soldiers from 2nd Cavalry Regiment representing V Corps claimed the title of “Best Squad” Aug. 12 following this year’s competition for soldiers within U.S. Army Europe and Africa.
The 96-hour competition tests “squad members’ physical strength, mental resilience and tactical and technical proficiencies in order to advance and compete in the Department of the Army-level Best Squad Competition later this Fall,” the Army said in a press release.
The newly crowned top squad will head to the Army-wide Best Squad competition in September.
“I’m looking forward to it; it’ll be more difficult and the competition may be tougher, but we’ll just have to train harder and get after it when we get there,” Spec. Garrett Headden, a member of the winning squad, said.
Over the course of the grueling four-day competition, soldiers completed events like the Army Combat Fitness Test. They also had range time on the M4 rifle, AT4 anti-tank weapon and the M240 Machine Gun, as well as combat casualty care tests and ruck marches.
Other competitors included squads from 7th Army Training Command; U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa; 56th Artillery Command; 21st Theater Sustainment Command; 2nd Theater Signal Brigade and 66th Military Intelligence Brigade.
Included within the Best Squad competition is also the hunt for the Army’s Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year.
Pfc. Derek Peterson, a member of V Corps’ winning squad, claimed both the title of “Top Soldier” and “Iron Soldier.”
“Winning this competition helped bring us together as a team and helped us further work out some of our flaws,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to the next competition.”
V Corps’ forward presence in Europe has been solidifying as of late. President Joe Biden announced at a NATO summit in Madrid this summer that the U.S. would make the V Corps headquarters at Camp Kościuszko in Poland permanent.
Rachel is a Marine Corps veteran and a master's candidate at New York University's Business & Economic Reporting program.