Fort Gordon competition tests teamwork, endurance

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Eleven units at Fort Gordon were pitted against one another Wednesday in a grueling competition that tested the limits of teamwork and endurance.

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Members of the 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion take off at the starting line of the BOSS Iron Unit competition.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Members of the 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion take off at the starting line of the BOSS Iron Unit competition.

The third annual BOSS Iron Unit competition featured eight exercise stations over a 2-mile stretch, followed by a 3-mile run.

“We’re looking for muscle failure” at the finish line, organizer Sgt. Sean Sullivan said.

By 9 a.m., the teams, consisting of nine to 11 soldiers each, were stretching at the Barton Field amphitheater and exuding confidence. Pfc. Zachary Foust of the 15th Signal Brigade made it clear he was speaking for everyone on his team when he said they were the winners.

“We’re pretty much confident on everything,” Foust said.

Confidence notwithstanding, the soldiers had their work cut out for them if they wanted to walk away with the trophy and bragging rights as the iron unit.

As the soldiers set off in increments, their tasks included flipping a tire 30 times, doing 270 abdominal exercises and 180 squats, and pulling a weighted pallet. Individual soldiers took turns performing repetitions for their unit.

The first challenge was flipping a tire that stood as high as most soldiers’ chins. Their bravado quickly turned to grunts as they struggled to get a grip, the tire seemingly getting heavier with each toss.

They pressed on, sipping from water packs on their back as they jogged on the track. At one station, soldiers dropped to the ground, did a push-up and jumped up, hands over their heads. They switched off in increments of 10, a supervising soldier counting off to 180.

Most units completed the course in just over an hour.

The 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion claimed this year’s iron unit title.

Sgt. Breen Boyd, of Alpha Company at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, said this year’s competition focused more on team performance.

“It was a lot of fun,” Boyd said.

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